Dear Friends and Neighbors,
With the bang of the gavel in the House Chambers Monday Jan. 9, the 105-day 2017 session began. It's time to get to work. As I return to the Capitol for my second term as a legislator, I never lose sight of the fact I am here because of you. Thank you for allowing me to serve you in Olympia.
One of the primary roles of the Legislature is to approve budgets. Although there will be a number of policy issues discussed this session, most of the discussion will be centered on approving the 2017-19 operating, capital and transportation budgets.
In the coming weeks, we will carefully examine each of these budgets and determine the best use of our tax dollars. I believe by focusing on principle budget goals we can create a clear direction for fiscal policy. This includes meeting the needs of our state and fully funding education, without unnecessarily raising taxes. One thing is clear, more taxes should be a last resort, not a first-response.
Transportation, key improvements
I've been asked to continue as the assistant ranking member on the House Transportation Committee. I'm humbled my fellow caucus members have again chosen me for this leadership role. It allows me to be your voice on the traffic issues we face each day in our communities.
Traffic delays cost time and money for people and businesses. We need targeted improvements to increase mobility. It is essential we keep the people on our highways safe and improve travel times.
The trestle on US Highway 2 carries thousands of commuters every day. Near Lake Stevens, the trestle's hundreds of steel and concrete girders support about two miles of highway. Traffic converges at US 2, SR 204 and 20th Street as traffic heads westbound towards I-5. I was glad to help get improvements for this important section of highway in the 2014-16 transportation budget. Work has begun to look at ways to improve access, as well as the long term replacement for parts of the trestle.
Furthermore, construction has started to widen and improved SR 9. As well as a corridor study 522. These are the types of key improvements we need to focus on as we look towards transportation funding for upcoming biennium.
In order to do my job effectively I need to hear from you. It helps me do a better job of representing you. I'd like to invite you to complete a brief online survey on some important issues the Legislature will be working on this session. Please take a moment and click here to fill out a short survey and let me know what is important to you.
Thank you in advance for taking a few moments to share your opinions. As always, I appreciate hearing from you. Come by and see me at the Capitol. Feel free to contact my office at (360) 786-7892 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.