Dear Friends and Neighbors,
With the bang of the gavel in the House chambers on Monday, the 105-day legislative session officially began. All 147 state lawmakers in the Legislature were sworn in on this day. While this is my seventh term as state representative, I can tell you that the excitement of the first day never lessens. It is an honor and privilege to serve and I will never lose sight of that fact. You can watch my House floor speech from Monday here.
On Tuesday, the governor gave his annual state of the state address to the Legislature. He outlined his vision for the state, including $1.5 billion in new tax increases and an operating budget proposal that would increase state spending by 15 percent. Please keep in mind our state will have nearly $3 billion more in tax collections — a more than 8 percent increase — the next two-year budget cycle. The governor laid out some big ideas, and I appreciate that, but he's already found resistance and disappointment from state lawmakers in his own party.
One of my colleagues, Rep. Norma Smith from the 10th District (Island County and parts of Skagit and Snohomish counties), provided the Republican response to the governor's state of the state address. Following both speeches, I led a news conference with other state lawmakers to discuss the legislative session. I outlined some of the contrasting solutions that I will support this year. I also discussed many of these ideas at the Associated Press Legislative Preview Leadership Panel on January 8.
If you have the time to look at any of the links in this e-mail update, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.
I'll be back in touch with you again soon. Please contact me if I can ever be of assistance or if you plan to visit the Capitol.
In your service,