Dear friends and neighbors, Fall has arrived and the school year has started here in Kitsap. As life gets busier and we all continue to do our part to control the pandemic, I wanted to get you some timely information about two important issues you may have heard about in the news recently.
Dear friends and neighbors: When the Legislature met earlier this year, one of our top priorities was addressing access to affordable, high quality childcare. It is one of the biggest issues facing families here in Kitsap and around the state. The childcare system was in crisis before the COVID-19 pandemic and after more than a year of economic disruption, it is on the brink of collapse in many communities. Estimates show working parents in Washington lose out on $14 billion a year in wages due to the lack of childcare access.
A Fair Start
Dear Friends and Neighbors, Starting next month, our state will be operating under a new, two-year budget that guides spending for everything from health care to public schools. As the chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee, I was honored to lead the budget team again this past legislative session. The $60 billion, two-year budget is long and complicated, but it is an important document that puts into action our state’s values and provides a vision for the future. In this newsletter, I will share a few of the budget highlights that I believe will help ...Read More
Dear friends and neighbors, The 2021 Legislature adjourned last night after a 105-day mostly-remote session that was unique in many ways. While it was conducted mostly on Zoom, we managed to complete our work efficiently and deliver several historic policies to improve life here in Kitsap and across the state. In the coming weeks, I will send more updates on the highlights from this session, but first I want to share news on a few grants available now to help people recover and focus on highlights from the state’s capital construction budget.
Help for small businesses, individualsThese grants are ...Read More
Dear Friends and Neighbors, The 2021 legislative session is nearing the finish line and I want to share an update on some of the progress we are making. It has been a unique session in many ways as the legislature has worked virtually for the first time in its history. We have learned to work on the floor and in committee meetings on virtual platforms that keep all our work open and transparent. And one great outcome has been the ability to connect to people in a different way. Because all the testimony in committee meetings was remote, ...Read More
Dear Friends and Neighbors, We are about one-third of the way through the 2021 legislative session and continue to focus on helping households and businesses survive and recover during this difficult time. I know the fastest, shortest path to getting our state back open is to contain the pandemic. I also know people need help immediately. Last week Gov. Inslee signed a $2.2 billion measure (HB 1368) to expand testing and vaccine distribution, provide support to schools, make grants available for small businesses, and meet basic needs with rental and food assistance. We are working to get this ...Read More
Dear Friends and Neighbors, We are just a few weeks into the 2021 session and the Legislature is already taking big steps to help people as our state works to defeat the virus and rebuild our economy. We are also seeing slow but steady progress on vaccination efforts throughout the state. As of today, more than 800,000 vaccine doses have been administered and that includes nearly 30,000 here in Kitsap County. I know access has been difficult for many of those who qualify – we need 3 million doses to get vaccines to everyone who qualifies, ...Read More
Dear Friends and Neighbors, The last few weeks have been unlike any in our nation’s history -- filled with deep sadness and bright rays of hope. When the 2021 legislative session started last week, the legislative buildings in Olympia were surrounded by security fencing and hundreds of personnel from the Washington National Guard and State Patrol. Their presence was unprecedented and startling, and stood as a stark reminder of the threat of attack and the unrest gripping our nation. I am sincerely grateful for the presence of law enforcement and our state’s security personnel during this time. I ...Read More