Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The state's Capitol Campus was bustling with activity last week. Lawmakers gathered in Olympia for Committee Assembly Days to prepare for the upcoming 2020 session. Along with my colleagues, I spent much of my time attending work sessions and committee hearings discussing public policy issues that will be considered, debated and decided next session.
The 2020 legislative session
In even-numbered years, like 2020, the legislative session is scheduled for a “short” 60-days. But don't let that fool you. The upcoming legislative session will be fast-paced and intense.
Washington operates under a biennial budget. Because lawmakers construct the state's two-year spending plans in odd-numbered years, the Legislature has a “long” session of 105-days. In 2019, the Legislature approved the state's operating, transportation and capital budgets. Those budgets will remain in effect from July 2019 through June 2021.
As the ranking member on the House Capital Budget Committee, I'm proud of the work we did last year on the state's capital budget—especially the new investments in mental and behavioral health care. The $4.9 billion budget includes a record $308 million in funding for mental and behavioral health facilities. The bipartisan effort that it took to put this plan together was remarkable. With a little cooperation and hard work, we took several giant steps forward on plans that will benefit generations of Washingtonians.
Supplemental budget proposals
During the upcoming 2020 session, lawmakers, financial analysts and budget negotiators will review expenses from across the state and decide if we should make any adjustments to the budgets approved in 2019. If deficiencies are found, supplemental funding will be proposed. Theoretically, lawmakers only make small adjustments to the state's spending plans during short sessions. The word “supplemental” is key here. Supplemental budgets make minor, mid-course corrections to the state's biennial spending plans. Unfortunately, too often, supplemental budget proposals have become another opportunity for some lawmakers and state agencies to spend excessively.
I believe in smaller, more effective government. Stay tuned. During the upcoming session, I will share updates on the various budget proposals being discussed and debated. You can bet I will watch every bottom line. Your state government can and should do more with less.
Your state Legislature | How to stay connected and informed
During the legislative session, I will be sending updates on bills being considered at the state capitol. In addition, I have listed several helpful links to keep you informed and updated on the activities of your state Legislature.
- The Capitol Buzz | A weekday roundup of online news stories. Click on the link to subscribe.
- The Current | An online legislative publication from the Washington House Republicans. Click on the link to subscribe.
- My legislative website | Here you will find my contact information, bio, news releases, email updates, videos, opinion pieces, bills, and other information.
- TVW | The state's own version of C-SPAN, TVW broadcasts floor and committee action live online.
- Legislature's website | You can find bill reports, committee agendas, and information about upcoming activities in the Legislature here.
- Capitol Campus activities and events | Find a calendar of legislative events here.
- Legislative Hotline | 1-800-562-6000.
- State agencies | You can find a list of all state agencies, boards and commissions here.
Bill-tracking | Learn how here.
Would you like to track a bill through the legislative process? Here's a set of easy instructions. You can also view all of the bills I'm sponsoring or co-sponsoring by visiting my webpage and clicking on “Sponsored Bills.”
- Go to leg.wa.gov
- On the left-hand panel, click “Bill Information.”
- If you know the bill number, enter it in the search field and hit enter.
- Don't have a bill number? Under the section “Bills by Topic,” you'll find alternative tracking tools. You can search based on topic, bill number, and initiative.
- If you click on the House Floor Calendar, this helpful tool gives you a detailed list of all bills scheduled to be heard on the House floor each day.
- Need more information? Please feel free to contact me if you need more details on specific bills.
Would you like to testify on a bill?
Tell us what you think! Is there a bill you like that will be debated this session? Or maybe you're sick and tired of the wrong bills getting passed. Consider coming to Olympia to testify. We want to hear from you! For more information on how you can testify in Committee, click here. If it's your first time, I'm more than happy to help you through the process. Contact my office if you have any questions.
As your state representative, it's my job to listen and find solutions to your concerns about state government. I'd like to thank each and every person who has contacted my office over the past several months. Your voice matters! There's no doubt hearing from you helps me work more effectively on behalf of our district.
If you would like to schedule a meeting with me, call or email. My contact information is listed below. I'm always happy to hear from you!
It's an honor to serve you!