Friends and Neighbors,
I am disappointed that it took additional time to pass a supplemental budget—making changes in response to emergent issues we could not foresee when the budget was adopted last year and which could not wait until we wrote a new budget in 2017. The 2016 supplemental budget, approved by the Legislature on March 29, updates state spending by 0.5 percent in the context of a $38 billion budget. While I am concerned about the effect Gov. Inslee's budget vetoes will have on the four-year balanced budget requirement, I am pleased the legislature wrote a budget without a tax increase while maintaining the integrity of the four-year balanced budget requirement.
As the ranking member on the House Transportation Committee, I am grateful my work with the committee chair and transportation committee leaders in the Senate produced a supplemental transportation budget during the regular session. And, the only transportation bill not passed in the regular session was one in which stakeholders requested changes at the very end of session – or it would have been sent to the governor during the regular session with all the other transportation related bills.
Although I am concerned about the Legislature going into overtime to finish work on the budget (operating and capital), I am pleased that only budget writers and caucus leaders in each chamber were in Olympia during negotiations and that the majority of members needed to be at the Capitol only for the final days' votes on the budget – and to override the governor's vetoes of 27 bills.
With session concluded, we are about to enter a period where I am prohibited from initiating correspondence like this, but I continue to be your representative and can respond to requests for meetings, tours, and assistance dealing with state agencies. I look forward to meeting with and assisting you throughout the year.