Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It's a busy time at the state Capitol as we work to make sure we finish the people's business and adjourn this year's session on time.
Tomorrow night, Rep. Bruce Chandler and I will be holding a telephone town hall to listen to the issues you care about and answer your questions. My most important job is to listen to the people I represent.
I hope you will call in tomorrow, April 2, between 6 and 7 p.m. The number is (509) 204-4354.
House Democrats released the three 2019-21 budgets last week – capital, transportation and operating.
Several of my priority projects were included in the capital and transportation budgets. I voted yes on the transportation budget on Friday and plan to vote yes on the capital budget this week. Neither of these budgets rely on any new or increased taxes.
- Housing for Homeless Veterans (Yakima/Union Gap) – $2.5 million to complete the conversion of the former U.S. Marine Corps Armory on 16th Avenue to permanent supportive housing for homeless Veterans and their families. Read about this in the Yakima Herald-Republic.
- PNWU Bus Line (Yakima/Terrace Heights) – $191,000 to extend transit services to PNWU and Terrace Heights.
- Veterans Memorial Park and Ride (Zillah) – $710,432 to build a parking facility for visitors to the Zillah Veterans Memorial and Teapot Dome and for regional commuters.
- Yakima Valley Fair and Rodeo Livestock Arena (Grandview) – $154,500 to build a livestock display arena for 4-H, FFA and other local exhibitors.
- YV-Tech Welding Program (Sunnyside) – $25,750 to purchase a welding simulation system for career and technical education training.
On Friday, the House passed a $53 billion operating budget. I voted no because this budget relied on $4 billion in tax increases over the next four years. State revenue is projected to total over $50 billion by 2021. This is almost twice what the state spent 10 years ago. I believe that we have more than enough money to fund existing programs and address new challenges without raising taxes.
Senate considers Dufault bill that would remove taxes and fees from Purple Heart license plate
Helping our Veterans is a top priority. That's why I co-sponsored House Bill 2058. The measure would eliminate the annual renewal fees on Purple Heart license plates and would make those plates permanent, meaning they do not need to be renewed.
The bill passed the House unanimously on March 13. It was sent to the
Senate Transportation Committee, where a public hearing was held last Tuesday.
Please contact my office via email, telephone, letter or in person with your thoughts, comments and questions. My contact information is below. It is an honor to serve as your state representative.