As of yesterday, we’ve crossed the finish line of our 60-day legislative session – and there is *so* much to be proud of!
All my colleagues at the Legislature worked together to respond to the needs of Washingtonians. We did that by expanding access to quality health care, opening doors to affordable housing, answering the needs of our kiddos and teachers in K-12 schools, eliminating barriers to higher education, taking care of our small and local business owners, and banding together to support cities statewide as we all combat COVID-19 and take care of one another. Our collaborative, community-oriented work and the investments we made are especially important as we adapt to changing public health guidance that affects Washington families, like we’ve seen with today’s statewide school closures.
I’m excited to give you a full session report card soon but, for now, here’s a quick look at our amazing 2020 session – by the numbers!
2020 Session Stats
12 of my bills (plus the House “companion” version of my bills) passed
377 total bills passed the Legislature
$1,318,000 total dollars invested in our district
2,500+ emails we’ve responded to (and we’re still going!)
320+ phone calls with community members
12,230+ views on my most widely-shared Facebook post
210 town hall attendees (including our Facebook Live viewers!)
425 constituents who visited with me this session
10 job shadows and Pages I had the opportunity to host
Spotlight: Capital budget wins
While my *next* e-newsletter will be a full, in-depth review of our wins this session, I’m so excited about the amazing capital budget investments we won for our district that I want to highlight some of them for you now! We received:
- $100,000 for Lakebay Marina Acquisition
- $52,000 for the Greater Gig Harbor Community Campus
- $250,000 for Gig Harbor Peninsula FISH Food Bank
- $24,000 for South Kitsap High School NJROTC Equipment
- $294,000 for the Harbor Hope Center Home for Girls
- $309,000 for South Kitsap School District Health Center
- $289,000 for Penrose Park Improvements
These investments in and around our community will go such a long way for our neighbors – bringing people together, supporting programming for our kiddos, and establishing spaces for people to play and be active.
Good news: Transportation Projects
Because of the huge funding hole created in our state’s transportation budget by the passage of I-976, the governor had to pause critical projects all over the state until we figured out ways to fund them. We also started this session worried about potential cuts to key services like State Patrol, Washington State Ferries, and special needs transportation. Luckily both Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Transportation Committee were committed to doing the least damage to our communities as possible. We worked together to comb though the budget and find efficiencies, ensuring that our transit-dependent and rural Washingtonians would not be disproportionately disadvantaged by this abrupt lack of funding. The budget we passed should allow projects that were paused by the governor after the passage of I-976 to be un-paused. Last stop: the governor’s desk.
Overview: Statewide operating budget investments
I’m thrilled to say that we worked hard to pass a supplemental operating budget that keeps our four-year budget balanced. It leaves $3 billion in total reserves at the end of the biennium (which is so important in the face of unexpected crises or disasters, like the one we’re all braving right now – we know that we are well-prepared to face challenges head on!). The budget makes big investments in support of working families, and addresses so many of our most urgent needs across the state: public health, housing accessibility, childcare, climate resilience. It does all this while being fiscally responsible and putting both current needs and future needs at the center.
Looking ahead to interim: coffee hours and community calls
As much I love being in Olympia and working alongside my colleagues in service of our state, I really love being home with my neighbors – connecting over coffee, buying flowers and veggies at the farmer’s market, strolling the beach in Southworth, shopping in the Harbor, and attending great events on the Key like the Logging Show and Farm Tour. That said, I want to take every possible measure to follow the suggestions of health care professionals encouraging folks to stay home and stay healthy. This means I’m exploring options to continue my weekly coffee hours virtually. Look out for information to come on how we’ll be staying connected while practicing healthy social distancing precautions!
My week in Olympia
I believe in transparency, and I want to keep you all informed about what I’m doing on behalf of the 26th District in Olympia. That’s why I’m making a practice of posting my legislative calendar each week on my Facebook page and posting frequent, real-time updates on my Instagram and Twitter pages.
Keep in touch
We are all eager to hear from you about your priorities. I hope you’ll follow me on Facebook so you can see what we’re up to. And please feel free to reach out anytime at 360-786-7650 or Emily.Randall@leg.wa.gov. The more we hear from you, the better our work in Olympia can reflect our shared values and goals.
All my best,