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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The beautiful spring season is here! It has been a busy time at the state Capitol. Many of my bills have passed the House and are making their way through the Senate.

This week, Washington state budgets were released in the House. We expect to be voting on them tomorrow on the House floor. This is an update as we begin our final month of the scheduled 105-day session which is scheduled to adjourn April 28.

Mosbrucker bills making great progress

My exceptional staff and I have put a lot of work into moving our legislative asks forward. I'm pleased to say we've made a great deal of progress. Here's a list of my prime-sponsored bills moving through the Senate:

Rep. Mosbrucker interviewed by KIRO-TV on HB 1713.

Action in the House:

  • House Bill 2143 – Travis Alert funding bill – This is for the Emergency Management Division of the Washington Military Department to implement the Travis Alert system across the state. The Travis Alert Act was originally crafted with Travis King and other individuals with autism in mind. It is to improve the Enhanced 911 program so that first responders know before they arrive to the scene of an emergency that an individual with autism or special needs may be involved. Public hearing was held last Tuesday, March 19 in the House Housing, Community Development and Veterans Committee. I've also added this as a budget proviso request.
  • Budget provisos – In addition to the Travis Alert 911 funding I've requested, I also have budget proviso requests for expansion of the Klickitat Hatchery, which could help in the production of one million fall Chinook salmon, and for Washington State University to establish a regional sexual assault nurse examiner leader pilot program and provide for the training in WSU's College of Nursing to increase the availability of qualified sexual assault nurse examiners in Eastern Washington.

Washington's budgets

The state has three major budgets:

  • Operating Budget – Pays for the day-to-day operations of state government.
  • Transportation Budget – Pays for transportation activities, such as designing and maintaining roads and public transit.
  • Capital Budget – Used to acquire and maintain state buildings, public schools, higher education facilities, public lands, parks and other assets.

The end of the state's two-year (2017-19) fiscal cycle is June 30. The primary function of the Legislature during the 105-day session is to prepare and adopt budgets for the coming two-year fiscal cycle that begins July 1. You can read all about our state's budgeting process in “A Citizen's Guide to the Washington State Budget.”

On Monday, majority House Democrats released their proposals for all three budgets. You can view details of each of the bills here.

New state operating budget — We do not need new taxes!

Many of my House Republican colleagues and I are astounded at the growth in spending and government proposed in the majority party's operating budget plan released Monday.

The current 2017-19 budget spends about $44.4 billion. The Democrat's 2019-21 operating budget proposal would spend about $53 billion, an increase of $8.6 billion (19.4 percent) over current spending levels. Despite historical revenue growth and $3 billion in available resources, their proposal includes a massive tax increase to generate more than $4 billion over four years through a capital gains income tax, a graduated real estate excise tax and increased business and occupation taxes on certain services. In addition, the proposal assumes an increase to local property taxes in order to provide additional funding to school districts.

Here's the eye-opener: Under this proposal, state spending will have increased by nearly $22 billion or 70 percent since 2013. This level of explosive growth is not responsible or sustainable.

Last week, the state's Chief Economist Steve Lerch said private sector economists expect an economic downturn in 2020 or 2021. There are already signs of a slowing economy. Unemployment figures released this week show Washington lost 8.700 jobs in February. Unemployment is up to nearly 10 percent in Yakima County and hovering near 8 percent in Klickitat County.

Raising taxes and increasing spending just before the economy declines is not wise. It will hurt our local businesses and the jobs our families rely upon. Plus, raising real estate and property taxes impacts constituents of all income levels.

In summary, existing revenues are more than sufficient to fund our state's shared priorities.

Watch and listen!

I am frequently asked to be on the local radio stations (KIT, Yakima; KVGD-LP, Goldendale; KLCK, The Dalles/Goldendale; and KIHR, Hood River), along with TV, TVW and YouTube, providing legislative updates and encouraging listeners to become involved in your government. Here are links where you can listen and watch to find out the latest information from the state Capitol:

RADIO:

TV/VIDEO

Honored to serve you!

My signature line is a reflection of my daily service to you. It truly is an honor. Please contact my office, either through email, telephone, letter or in person with your thoughts. I want to hear from you and to learn what is important to you, so that together, we can build a better government, and a better Washington in which to live, work and raise a family. I look forward to your comments, questions and/or concerns.

I remain. . .

Honored to serve you,


Gina Mosbrucker

State Representative Gina Mosbrucker
14th Legislative District
RepresentativeGinaMosbrucker.com
431 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
gina.mosbrucker@leg.wa.gov
360-786-7856 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000