Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
I've spent a lot of time this year thinking of how to best address the growing homelessness crisis and some of the other complex challenges facing our state. Many Washingtonians feel like there's nothing being done in response to these issues, which is why I've been meeting with experts around the state to develop creative, forward-thinking solutions. In the coming weeks, I plan to introduce legislation for the 2020 legislative session that would:
- Incentivize cities to move homeless populations away from schools, playgrounds and parks (and forbid supervised drug injection sites).
- Reenact the prohibition against cities imposing a local income tax (struck down by a state judge earlier this year).
- Reduce soaring administrative costs and duplicative spending at state universities, and pass the savings on to students and taxpayers.
- Require state agencies to consider lower-cost alternatives before enacting new rules, and create legislative oversight of agency actions.
- Fund services for Washingtonians with developmental disabilities who are eligible for them, but currently on a waitlist.
- Utilize brand-new federal rules to encourage the importation of prescription drugs from Canada, reducing costs to patients and the state's Medicaid system.
- Hold King County and other municipal governments accountable for sewage spills into Puget Sound by levying the same pollution penalties that currently apply to oil spills.
- Require the Legislature to consider the impact to families, businesses, and the entire state economy when enacting major pieces of legislation.
If there are any other issues you think the Legislature should examine, please reply to this email and let me know!
Due to election-year restrictions, this will be my last email update until the 2020 legislative session convenes on January 13. However, I will still be able to reply to calls and emails, so please contact me anytime at (360) 786-7846 or Drew.Stokesbary@leg.wa.gov. Until then, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!