About Maureen  |  News & Media  |  Email Updates  |  The Ledger  |  Contact

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

As most of you already know, the Legislature adjourned the 60-day, 2014 legislative session on time, Thursday, March 13. This means for the first time since 2009 there will be no special session. It is very good to be home catching up with the citizens of the 16th District and attending meetings in our community. Below is a brief overview of the session, details on how to contact me and upcoming election-year restrictions.

2014 session quick highlights 20140122_LegWA_2580sh5X7

  • House Bill 2377 to address quality early learning standards and subsidized child care passed the House but died in the Senate. While this legislation was far from perfect, I am pleased that we started the conversation and hope to continue that progress next session.
  • House Bill 2746 was signed into law by the governor. This bill would leverage federal funding to provide services for families of those with developmental disabilities currently on a waiting list in our state. I was pleased that this measure became law. However, I am disappointed that two amendments which would have strengthened the bill were rejected. The amendments would have provided for a $1 and $2 an hour pay increase for caregivers from the additional $48 million being leveraged from federal government funding. I thought it was a good idea to show appreciation for the people who care for the most vulnerable folks in our community.
  • The budget, Senate Bill 6002, passed the with 85 votes. I voted “yes” on this supplemental state operating budget because it was balanced, did not raise taxes and left a responsible ending balance. Like any compromise, there were things in the budget I did not like. But, I did appreciate that everyone sat at the table and was able to reach a responsible and sustainable spending plan that balances over four years. Certainly, this budget is not perfect, but is another step in the right direction and will help rebuild trust with taxpayers.
    • A few highlights of the supplemental operating budget are:
      • An additional $58 million for schools for materials, supplies and operating costs, or MSOC;
      • Tuition freeze for higher education, plus additional dollars for the Opportunity Scholarship Program were added;
      • Additional funds to help address space and treatment for those suffering from mental illness, helping some of the most vulnerable citizens;
      • We left roughly $300 million in reserves, not counting the secured “rainy day” account.
      • We prevented tax increases, (the majority party in the House had proposed to increase taxes on bottled water, recycled fuel, prescription drugs, e-cigarettes, and eliminate the sales tax exemption for out-of-state shoppers).

Contact Information and election-year restrictions

Now that the session is over, you can contact me at one of my local offices. My Pasco office is located at: 2815 St. Andrews Loop Suite 2-B, Pasco, WA 99301. You can also call (509) 543-3325 and my legislative assistant, Marge, will be able to help you. Or, if you are closer to my Walla Walla office, you can visit me at: 26 East Main, Suite 205, Walla Walla, WA 99362, or call (509) 526-6284.

I always welcome your feedback and make a point to respond to all your calls, e-mails, letters, and visits. Don’t ever hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns you might have. I look forward to hearing from you.

Due to election-year restrictions, this will be my last e-mail update until after the November election. A certain amount of time before Election Day the law prohibits legislators from sending out notices or communications to constituents. So, if you hear big news coming from Olympia but don’t see an update from me talking about the issue, that is why.

Please note, however, the law does not prevent you from contacting me with questions or concerns about any issue between now and Dec. 1 of this year. I can reply to constituents as long as they specifically request a response.

I am still your state representative year-round and I’m here to answer your questions, listen to your ideas and help you navigate problems with state government on any issue. I look forward to hearing from you.


Maureen Walsh

State Representative Maureen Walsh, 16th Legislative District
420 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7836 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000