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Greetings Friends and Neighbors,
We have finished the third week of the 2018 legislative session. Given the short, 60-day time frame, things are moving fast. I am glad that we have finally garnered a significant win for rural Washington on the Hirst, household well issue. Late last week, we approved a compromise bill that the governor has signed. It creates a framework for local control over water resources, plans for the future and importantly provides clarity on permit-exempt wells so that families that simply need water for a home can get it.
The media and urban lawmakers have been displeased about the connection between Hirst and the Capital Budget. Let me be clear, without that linkage, urban lawmakers would have been content with doing nothing to solve this problem. Borrowing money to grow government while rural Washingtonians’ property values plummet and economic development grinds to a halt seemed unfair to taxpayers. With the approval of a Hirst fix, the Capital Budget was also adopted allowing for investment in community projects.
Our caucus knew that some sort of investment would be needed in the Capital Budget to address the fallout from the Hirst decision. We needed a policy before we knew that dollar figure. However, the position of some that there is no connection was disingenuous. The framework that the Democrats unveiled in late December made the connection explicit. Without hundreds of millions of dollars in the Capital Budget, the underlying water policy was void.
You can read my press release on the Hirst fix and Capital Budget by clicking here.
Please take a moment to watch my latest video update where I discuss what’s going on in Olympia and what I am working on. Click here or on the image below to watch.
I have introduced several bills this session ranging from seed certification to funding for agricultural fairs and expanding opportunities for retirement benefits of veterans.
Please click here to see a list of bills that I have sponsored.
It is an honor to serve as your state Senator. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your state government.
Your State Senator
103 Irv Newhouse Bldg.
P.O. Box 40410
Olympia, WA 98504
Legislative Assistant – Breanne Elsey
Session Aide – Charlie Kirry
Intern – Cynthia Banuelos