Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We're getting close to the scheduled end of session on March 13, which means it's budget time in the Legislature. This week we voted on the supplemental operating, transportation and capital budgets. We still need to negotiate on differences with the Senate budget proposals, and then we should be done by Thursday.
More funding for K-3 classrooms
I'm really excited about legislation I've co-sponsored that the House passed this week – it makes a big down-payment on full funding for basic education. It includes $700 million in state lottery-backed bonds for full-day kindergarten and K-3 class size reduction.
You can read more about it here in an op-ed I wrote with Rep. Tana Senn.
Expanding renewable energy sources
More great news came this week with the passage of legislation allowing certain hydropower sources to count as “renewable” under the state's 2006 Energy Independence Act. HB 2733, which I co-sponsored, applies to hydroelectric generation from irrigation pipes and canals, water pipes and wastewater pipes.
As an example of what type of hydropower is covered by the bill, there are lots of large farms in Eastern Washington with irrigation water passing through them. The power generated by the water in the canals and pipes can help support these farms by powering irrigation water pumps and feeding excess electricity onto the electrical grid.
HB 2733 has passed both the House and Senate and now heads to the governor for his signature.
Watch my video update
In my latest video update I discuss the budget proposals making their way through the Legislature. Click below to watch it:
School funding, teacher accountability legislation and the latest on my electric vehicle bill are the topics of my most recent podcast. Please click here to listen.
That's all for now. Thanks for taking the time to read my update, and I look forward to giving you an end-of-session recap next week! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, comments or concerns.
427 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7876 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000