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E-newsletter- Protecting the Spokane River

E-newsletter- Protecting the Spokane River

Protecting the Spokane River Safeguarding the Spokane River is a priority for our community and has been one of my legislative priorities over the past four years. In that work, I often end up viewing the river through the lens of parts per million of PCBs or tons of phosphorous, so it was a pleasure last week to experience the river ...

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E-newsletter- Out and About

E-newsletter- Out and About

In the community One of my priorities during the interim between legislative sessions is to spend time diving deeper into the challenges and successes in our community. I work toward this goal by touring businesses, visiting with teachers and students in our schools, attending community events, and meeting with constituents in any way I can.

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E-newsletter - Home Stretch

E-newsletter - Home Stretch

Passing the Operating Budget Last week, both the Senate and the House passed their supplemental operating budget proposals. Our state operates on a two-year budget cycle. In the odd years, we do two-year biennial budgets. In the even years, like this one, we do a supplemental budget that is an update and adjustment to the two-year budget plans. I supported the bipartisan Senate ...

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E-newsletter - Dreaming

E-newsletter - Dreaming

The DREAM Act   Last week, after three years of work the Legislature passed the DREAM Act. This historic piece of legislation will provide equal access to state-based higher education financial aid without regard to immigration status as long as a student has graduated from a Washington State high school.   I was proud to join a bi-partisan coalition in support of the ...

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E-newsletter - Oil train safety

E-newsletter - Oil train safety

Focus on Safety - Oil by Rail One of the most pressing and growing safety concerns for our community is the dramatic increase in trains traveling through Spokane carrying Bakken crude oil from North Dakota to terminals in Western Washington. I have received many comments from constituents who are concerned about this subject and the Spokane City Council has been active in ...

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E-newsletter - Cut-off week

E-newsletter - Cut-off week

“Cut-off” Week Last week was committee “cut-off” week in Olympia. The legislative schedule provides for certain cut-off dates that serve as a funnel narrowing down the number of bills to be considered this session. If a bill did not pass out of committee by the cutoff date, it is dead for this session. The only exception to these cut-off dates are ...

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E-newsletter - Early Learning and Team Billig

E-newsletter - Early Learning and Team Billig

Early Learning Last session one of the bills I prime-sponsored, SB 5595, created a task force to figure out how to better align the state's two biggest early learning programs, Early Childhood Education & Assistance Program (ECEAP) and Working Connections Child Care. Over the Summer and Fall, I co-chaired this task force along with Representative Maureen Walsh from Walla Walla and ...

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E-newsletter - Preventing the "Summer Slide"

E-newsletter - Preventing the "Summer Slide"

Honoring Dr. Marin Luther King Today on the Senate floor, we honored Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who dedicated and gave his life in the pursuit of equality and justice for all. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from Dr. King: “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”   Summer Knowledge Improvement Pilot (SKIP) Did you know ...

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E-newsletter - Opening Day!

E-newsletter - Opening Day!

Opening Day! brad owen The 2014 Legislative Session was gaveled to order earlier today by Lieutenant Governor, Brad Owen who also serves as the President of the Senate. The state Legislature operates on a two-year cycle. In odd numbered years, we have a 105 day “long” session when we create two-year budgets for operating, ...

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E-newsletter - It's been a busy month in the 3rd LD

E-newsletter - It's been a busy month in the 3rd LD

The past month has been particularly busy with opportunities to learn about the accomplishments and challenges in our community. Here are a few recent community visit highlights: Health Sciences Building Last Friday our community dedicated the new Biomedical Health Sciences Building, which will house Spokane's four-year medical school and a consolidated WSU College of Pharmacy. In my remarks at the dedication ceremony, I ...

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