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Back home and connecting with community

Back home and connecting with community

Dear Neighbor, It’s been a few months since the 2018 legislative session wrapped up and I’m thankful to be back home. I’m always impressed by the ability of people in Kitsap to take time out of their busy lives to engage in important civic affairs. I've been busy too – the recent Earth Day celebration in Bainbridge, a fun meeting with the Poulsbo Rotary, the Village Green breakfast in Kingston last week and a great visit with SWERV (pictured below) just a few days ago – I’ve enjoyed spending time with so many dedicated people who care about making our ...

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Community projects, property tax relief, and ferry upgrades

Community projects, property tax relief, and ferry upgrades

Dear Neighbor, Last week, I shared some highlights of the 2018 supplemental operating budget that invests in education, mental health and jobs as well as the final piece of funding to satisfy the McCleary ruling, the states constitutional obligation to amply fund K-12 education. In this newsletter, I will touch on the 2019 tax cut and the important community investments we made this year with the capital construction and transportation budgets.

Property tax reduction in 2019

I know many people are feeling the burden of increasing property taxes through a combination of rising home values and the new state property tax ...

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Progress as 2018 legislative session ends!

Progress as 2018 legislative session ends!

The 2018 legislative session wrapped up last night and I am happy to report we finished our work on schedule for the first time in four years. As the chair of the Ways & Means Committee for our new Democratic majority this year, I’m proud we were able to accomplish so many of the goals we mapped out just 60 days ago. In this newsletter, Ill share some of the highlights. Thanks for taking the time to read this update and, as always, please stay in touch.

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Legislative update: Progress in Olympia

Legislative update: Progress in Olympia

Dear friends and neighbors: We have reached the midpoint of the 60-day legislative session. Our new Democratic majority in the Senate continues to make progress and work closely with the House to prioritize legislation that will make a difference to people around the state. The pace will remain busy over the next eight days as each chamber will consider several hundred bills before the February 14 deadline to pass bills to the other chamber.

Protecting and improving health care

One of our top priorities this year is improving health care services for women and protecting access to affordable health care. Last ...

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Legislative Update: Big changes ahead in Olympia

Legislative Update: Big changes ahead in Olympia

Dear Friends and Neighbors, It is hard to believe 2018 is just around the corner. With a new year comes a new legislative session, beginning January 8, and many changes in Olympia. Following a special election in the 45th Legislative District last month, Democrats have retaken the majority in the state Senate. I am honored to have been chosen by my colleagues to chair the Senate budget committee, Ways & Means. In this new role I will be the Senate’s chief budget writer and negotiator, set the committee’s agenda and lead my colleagues in determining what bills will move ...

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Legislative Update: Ballot Advisory Votes, Paid Family Leave and more

Legislative Update: Ballot Advisory Votes, Paid Family Leave and more

Dear Friends and Neighbors, The election is upon us, and ballots for local elected offices and levies will be delivered to your homes this week. There are many talented and hardworking folks competing to help run and guide our local governments and schools, and I’m personally grateful for all who have stepped forward. Ballots need to be post-marked or dropped in a box by 8:00 p.m. on Tues. Nov. 7. For all voting drop-boxes in Kitsap County, please click here.

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Legislative Update: Billions more for schools in 2017 budget

Legislative Update: Billions more for schools in 2017 budget

Not long before midnight on June 30, a state operating budget was signed into law that invests $7.3 billion in new state funding for schools over four years. This budget makes significant progress in fully funding schools and signifies the biggest education investment in our state in a generation. This funding continues to close the opportunity gaps among students, provides more equitable pay for teachers, and adds more funding for special education, career and technical education and many other programs that have been chronically underfunded.

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Special session update and news you can use

Special session update and news you can use

Dear Friends and Neighbors, As the first week of June comes to a close, so does the second week of the Legislature’s second special session. June also means my oldest daughter is graduating from high school! Between preparing for and celebrating this milestone, I have been commuting to Olympia since April, working to negotiate education funding and help find compromise on the overall budget. Progress is slow, and the Senate Republican majority continues to refuse to sit with the House Democratic majority to work through significant partisan differences on overall state government spending enhancements and reductions.

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