Dear friends and neighbors,
Thank you for taking the time to read my e-newsletter. I will be sending periodic updates throughout session to keep you informed about the issues that impact you and your family.
The 2017 legislative session is underway and I am happy to be back in Olympia representing you and all of the people of the 29th Legislative District.
Fully funding schools
In his annual state of the state address, Gov. Inslee made it clear that the most important issue of the session is fully funding our public education system. Currently, the state is in contempt of court for failing to fully fund our K-12 system. Finding a solution to this problem is going to be the principal challenge for budget writers and the members of the Senate Ways & Means Committee, on which I serve.
One of the most challenging tasks we face in resolving this issue is finding a way to cut down on schools’ overreliance on local levies to cover basic operating costs – like paying teacher salaries. The Supreme Court has ruled that this is unconstitutional.
The first eight weeks of session are largely spent in committees. This year, in addition to serving on the Senate Way & Means Committee, I will be serving on the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee, and the Senate Health Care Committee.
In Commerce & Labor, one issue I am very passionate about is paid family leave. Nobody should have to fret about making ends meet when they have to miss work because they fall ill or have to take care of a sick family member. So far, bills to fund a paid leave program in the state have been introduced by both the labor and business communities. I will keep you posted about this issue as it develops.
As a member of the Health Care committee, one of my main concerns is protecting health care coverage for the thousands of people who have obtained health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If the ACA is repealed without a replacement, nearly 750,000 people in Washington state will lose their health coverage. If Congress does repeal the ACA, hopefully they will replace it with a solution that will not undermine the progress we have made in Washington state.
Keep in touch
There are many more issues that I know are important to you. Whether it is finding a way to alleviate traffic congestion throughout South Pierce County, securing funding for the Stan and Joan Cross Park, or helping understand how we spend revenue from marijuana sales, my office is always here to answer your questions and provide you with information. Please do not hesitate to contact me anytime.
Sen. Steve Conway