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The 2022 session is underway

The 2022 session is underway

Dear Friends and Neighbors, The 2022 Washington State Legislature gaveled in the new session this week and as we start a new year I continue to have a lot of hope for the future of our communities here on the Kitsap Peninsula and across the state. Unfortunately, because of the latest surge in Covid cases, most of our work will continue to be remote for at least the first few weeks. This session will last 60 days and is scheduled to wrap up on March 10. All hearings and floor debates will streamed on TVW and you ...

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Transitions in our office

Transitions in our office

Dear Friends and Neighbors, For those of you who have worked with or been served by my office, I wanted you to know that we are undergoing staffing changes. For one, in what has been called the “end of an era,” Linda Owens is retiring this week!

Thank you Linda!

More than a decade ago, Linda Owens accepted an offer to come work with me in the State Senate and during that time she has remained a trusted assistant, office manager, advisor, and friend. As my Executive Legislative Assistant, she has helped thousands of our neighbors navigate complex ...

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Working together to improve ferry service

Working together to improve ferry service

Dear Friends and Neighbors, I want to thank all of the community members who attended the 23rd District Ferry Town Hall on Nov. 30. It was a productive conversation and a chance to get an update on the current disruptions to service. More than 100 people registered for the event and attendees were able to get valuable information straight from Washington State Ferry officials on the various steps they are taking to address inadequate service levels. If you missed it, you can watch it by clicking here. If you are ...

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You're invited: Ferry Town Halls coming up Nov. 23 & Nov. 30

You're invited: Ferry Town Halls coming up Nov. 23 & Nov. 30

Dear Friends and Neighbors, Like so many of you, I am frustrated by the delays and disruptions to the ferry service we all depend on here in Kitsap. There are many reasons for the current service cutbacks, and I am working with my colleagues in the Legislature and officials from the Washington State Ferries to identify sustainable solutions that will deliver reliable service and give our communities a sense of certainty when it comes to essential transportation needs. I hope you'll join us for a conversation to discuss current challenges and the path forward with my fellow legislators and ...

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Get involved in redistricting & how you can help refugees

Get involved in redistricting & how you can help refugees

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.

Voting districts are changing

Every 10 years, following the census, Washington redraws the boundaries of legislative and congressional voting districts so that they accurately reflect our state’s changing populations. We have an interesting “redistricting” process in this state that reduces the political gerrymandering that we ...

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Getting ready to get back to school

Getting ready to get back to school

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

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Legislature invests in a strong state recovery

Legislature invests in a strong state recovery

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 ...

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Grant opportunities and community investments

Grant opportunities and community investments

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, individuals

These grants are ...

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