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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Hello from Olympia, and welcome to the 14th week of the 2013 legislative process.
Apple Blossom Royalty comes to Olympia!
Last Friday, the 2013 Apple Blossom Royal Court came to visit the Capitol. The visit has become a tradition for the royalty and serves as an opportunity for the young women to learn about the legislative process, meet with state elected officials and tour the Capitol grounds.
The day began with Apple Blossom Queen Emily Abbott and Princesses Madi Still and Maggie Chvilicek meeting with Rep. Condotta, Sen. Parlette and myself.
Next, the royalty were honored by a resolution in the Senate chamber and introduced to members of the House Republican Caucus.
The rest of their day included a tour of the Temple of Justice with Supreme Court Chief Justice Barbara Madsen and a visit with Governor Jay Inslee.
The Court also spent time with Secretary of State Kim Wyman, and during their visit all three young women were pre-registered to vote.
It's always nice to have visitors from home, and I was honored to teach them a little about what I have learned in my first term in office representing the 12th District.
Budgeting process moves forward
Also on Friday, the House voted on the 2013-2015 Operating budget proposal put forward by House Democrats. This budget passed on a near party-line vote.
I voted “no” on this budget primarily because it raises taxes on struggling families by nearly $1.3 billion, depletes the rainy day fund and leaves very little in reserves. In fact, the amount left in reserves, just over $300 million, is only enough to keep state government running for 7.5 days.
It is clear that the House Democratic budget was not a serious attempt at compromise. Their budget mirrors the governor's “budget outline” closely.
By contrast, the Senate Majority Caucus' initial approach represents many of the same principles and priorities that House Republicans have for the state. The Senate budget focuses on reform and new investments in K-12 education, funds other important priorities and makes state government more efficient. You can learn more about the Senate budget here.
I am hopeful that the Senate budget will serve as a model for what is possible; and that both chambers and the governor can find an agreeable compromise.
However, this compromise must not be at the cost of responsibly educating our children or asking more money of taxpayers. The House Republicans have shown, and the Senate has also demonstrated, that a budget that funds our priorities without new taxes is possible.
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