Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The March 11 house of origin cutoff is now behind us, and the House and Senate have resumed regular committee schedules as they begin to hear bills passed by the other chamber. Today marks the 68th day of the 2015 legislative session and I'm optimistic that we can make it out, on time, by April 26.
House Democrats have said they will release an operating budget proposal by Monday, March 23. It's important the House passes a sustainable budget, and one that includes both a spending plan and a finance plan, as soon as possible so the Senate has enough time to review before the last day of session.
I hope these updates have been informative for you. If there is an issue or legislation I have yet to address and you have questions, I hope you will email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my legislative office at (360) 786-7898. I look forward to hearing from you!
Federal Way and Milton town halls
The Federal Way and Milton town halls I hosted last weekend had great turnouts. There were nearly 100 people who attended the Federal Way town hall and about 50 who participated at the Milton meeting. Thank you to everyone who was able to join us!
I also wanted to give a special thank you to Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell for moderating the Federal Way town hall, and a thank you to Milton Mayor Debra Perry for providing pie (after all, it was pi day!) and refreshments at the Milton town hall.
During the community meetings, we discussed a variety of topics, including jobs and the economy, education and the McCleary decision, the progress in implementing the class-size reduction initiative I-1351, marijuana and liquor sales tax sharing, and the transportation revenue package.
If you weren't able to attend either of the meetings, have questions or would like a follow-up, please contact my office to share your views and feedback.
Federal Way tourism promotion area bill receives hearing in the Senate
House Bill 1279, which I sponsored to allow hoteliers to charge up to a $2 fee on lodging and use those funds for the purpose of publicizing and promoting tourism destinations within Federal Way, received a hearing in the Senate Trade and Economic Development Committee Wednesday. I think Federal Way residents can agree we have a lot of amenities attractive to tourists!
Currently, the state allows two or more cities with populations of 1 million or more within King County to join and create a tourism promotion area to be shared with those cities. However, because of Federal Way's geographic location, it does not have a neighboring city large enough to do this.
It's a simple bill that removes an outdated provision in the law that currently bars Federal Way from creating a tourism promotion area. This bill would mean a lot for local economies within the 30th District, and I'm hopeful we can get this passed and signed by the governor.
Homelessness in our communities
I recently sat down with Sabrina Register from Comcast Newsmakers to discuss challenges facing homeless populations and work to help these individuals in the 30th District. Some of you have reached out to me to let me know they've seen this video on local programming.
You can watch the video here, during which I also discuss a bill I've worked on to help find affordable housing for homeless individuals. In Federal Way, we have a group of 300 churches who continue to provide critical services to homeless in our city; their work is tremendously appreciated. Federal Way is also home to the Multi-Service Center, which offers important and emergency services to those in need.
122F Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
360-786-7898 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000