Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The 2015 legislative session began Monday, Jan. 12. This year's session is scheduled to last 105 days, adjourning April 26. Since this is a long session, we will be crafting a new, two-year budget. Although we've heard some early proposals from the governor, we are far from reaching a consensus.
These proposals include large tax increases. With an additional $3 billion in revenue due to a rebounding economy, many feel this is an unnecessary option to meet current budget demands.
The State of the State
During the second day of session, the governor delivered his State of the State speech to a joint session of the Senate and House. While I may not agree with many elements of his budget proposals, I appreciate his dedication to early learning.
I'm a firm believer that we should invest in early education to ensure our children have the tools to succeed in school and life. As ranking Republican on the House Early Learning and Human Services Committee and a fiscal conservative, I work to promote policies that are fiscally responsible. Research shows that we are receiving an estimated $7.00 back for every dollar invested in early learning. Reduced costs in areas of special education and remedial education are only the beginning of the positive economic benefit from this investment. Kids who enter school prepared typically do well throughout their K-12 and post-secondary school experience, resulting in students who are well-equipped to enter the workforce.
My goal is to empower parents to provide for and support their own families. Our governor's proposals, which call for excessive tax increases, would harm employers and job opportunities, making it increasingly difficult for workers to provide for their families.
2015 legislative session
Week one is wrapping up, so we'll see more committee hearings next week. This session, I was assigned to the House Capital Budget Committee, which considers issues relating to the construction and repair of public buildings, public works contracts, state buildings, public land, and other projects. I'm looking forward to this new committee assignment and my involvement in capital budget negotiations this year.
Even though I'll be in Olympia for the next few months, I encourage you to write, call or e-mail me with any questions or ideas you have about our government. I always appreciate your feedback as it helps guide the decisions I make here in the Legislature. If you plan to make a trip over to Olympia during session, call my legislative office and my legislative assistant, Skyler, will be happy to set up a time for us to meet.
Thank you for the privilege of representing you.
420 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7836 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000