Dear Friends and Neighbors,
A busy first week of the 2014 legislative session has concluded. I'm heading back home to Snohomish to spend time with my family and hopefully watch a Seahawks' win on Sunday.
Last week, I participated in the AP Legislative Forum and Seattle CityClub Legislative Preview with other legislative leaders. You can watch the events here and here. Whether I'm in downtown Seattle or one of our small, local communities, I'm going to share my views, talk about solutions and listen to feedback. While I'll consider hundreds of issues this year, I'm focused on strengthening our economy, improving outcomes for our students, ensuring our transportation system is accountable, and promoting responsible state spending. You'll find that my voting record and bill sponsorship back these promises up.
I've received a few e-mails recently from people who read or heard quotes from me in the news. I always appreciate when someone is engaged in the legislative process – even if that person doesn't agree with me. The media has a job to do, which includes boiling complex issues down to short stories, quotes and sound bites. From my experience in elected office, it's sometimes disappointing when the full context of my quote is not provided. But, I respect what reporters are trying to do. The good thing is you can watch all of my answers and comments in the two links I provided above – to get “the rest of the story,” as it's said.
State of the State address
Governor Inslee gave his State of State address on Tuesday. You can watch it here (31:40 mark) or read it here. You can view the news conference (pictured right) I participated in with my Senate colleagues following the governor's speech here.
The governor talked about the recent state Supreme Court order with respect to the McCleary decision (find more information here), which will be an important issue in the Legislature moving forward. The governor also: advocated for a higher minimum wage, but didn't get into specifics; talked about climate change, but wasn't clear if he planned to take executive action to implement low carbon fuel standards; and said he wanted to provide teachers with cost of living adjustments, but didn't say how exactly he would propose paying for it and did not include it in the supplemental budget he submitted to the Legislature last month. I'll let you be the judge, but a lot of people felt his speech was heavy on politics, but light on details. It was very different than State of the State addresses from his predecessor, Chris Gregoire. If you are interested in watching the Republican response from Sen. Randi Becker, you can find it here.
Recent stories on the legislative session
I know Olympia can seem like a distant place, but hopefully this e-mail update provides you a window into what's going on in your citizen Legislature. Here are some recent news stories on the opening of the legislative session:
- 5 things to watch in Wash. Legislature this year (AP/Kitsap Sun)
- 2014 legislative session likely to be a speedy one (The Everett Herald)
- Session set to open in 'bizarro world' – Supreme Court decision turns everything upside down (Washington State Wire)
- Washington state minimum wage, nation's highest, is too low, Governor Jay Inslee says (AP/Oregonian)
Interview with KSER Radio
Each week, I call in to Ed Bremer at KSER Radio in Everett to discuss what's happening in the Legislature. To listen to this week's interview on the state operating budget and transportation tax package, click here.
Have a great weekend. I'll be back in touch next week.
In your service,