Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It has been nearly one month since the Legislature adjourned for 2016. I have enjoyed being back in the 31st District, spending time with my family and meeting with community members to discuss the issues facing our state and region. I am always energized after these meetings because it's clear we have so many people committed to improving Washington for future generations.
Last month, the Legislature passed a supplemental operating budget. I joined 77 of my colleagues and voted for the budget because it made investments in key areas and addressed emergencies, specifically last year's devastating wildfires.
Here are some highlights:
- $5.2 million for the beginning educator support team (BEST) program and paraeducator certification.
- $4.2 million to keep public charter schools open and operating in Washington.
- $7.8 million for reimbursement to state colleges and universities for last year's historic tuition cuts.
- $18 million to maintain State Need Grant funding with the College Bound program.
- $2 million for expanding the number of mobile crisis teams.
- $6.8 million for additional state hospital registered nurses at Western State Hospital.
- $4.3 million for health home services.
- $29 million for home health care individual provider overtime related to changes in federal law.
- $190 million from the Budget Stabilization Account for wildfire suppression costs related to the 2015 wildfire season.
For a full overview of the 2016 supplemental budget, click here.
Since 2016 is an election year, this is the final legislative email update I am able to send until late December. Fortunately, I can respond directly to constituents who contact my office. I am prepared to assist you navigate state government and look forward to answering your questions. Throughout the coming months, I hope you will take time to contact me to share your comments, concerns and ideas. Also, if you would like me to speak to your community group, school or business, please contact my office to make arrangements.