Dear friends and neighbors,
Sunday marks the final day of the regularly scheduled 2017 legislative session. While I am disappointed that we are once again headed for a special session, my focus so far has been to introduce and pass legislation to help our district and our state. Those efforts succeeded in:
- Accelerating the timing and funding for the development of a new interchange at State Route 18 and Interstate 90. The project was initially set to begin in 2023 but with these proposed changes, it will begin this year. Moving the timing up on this project was my top priority this session.
- Making it easier for high school students who take AP classes to get college credit for their work. By establishing a standard AP score requirement for all state institutions of higher learning, we will make the application process easier to navigate so students can choose the college that best meets their academic needs without the fear of their hard-earned AP credits going to waste.
- Strengthening the small business retirement marketplace I helped establish that will offer no-cost savings plans to make it easier for employees to save for retirement.
During the special session, I will continue to fight hard for the downtown revitalization project for Carnation, extra state support for the replacement of the old and undersized Black Diamond Elementary School with a new, state-of-the-art building, and negotiating a moderate solution to our K-12 funding crisis.
The Legislature has gone into a special session four out of the five years I have represented you in the Senate. As I have done every other time we have gone into a special session, I will refuse my per diem. I strongly believe that we should not be paid by your hard-earned tax dollars for not being able to do our job on time.
We are in this situation because budget negotiations have stalled. As one of the most moderate members in the Legislature, I see this problem as an opportunity to find middle ground. After all, compromise often results in policy that best balances the needs of all Washingtonians.
Thank you for your engagement,