Dear Friends and Neighbors,
This is the year the Legislature crafts a new operating budget to pay for the operations of the state for the next two years. The state is facing a $900 million budget shortfall. Yet taxpayers are sending us $1.5 billion more than last year. So this tells me state government doesn’t have a revenue problem. It has a spending problem. Our challenge will be to bring spending in line with existing revenue, and setting priorities in the budget. Our first spending should be toward education, protecting our state’s most vulnerable citizens, and ensuring public safety needs are met.
I’ve provided a brief update below of my involvement in the Legislature this year. Please feel free to contact my office any time you have questions, comments or ideas. My Olympia office is open during the legislative session. You can call it at (360) 786-7828. My legislative assistant, Meagan Allen, will be happy to take your call.
MY NEW COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS
This year, I am serving as the Republican leader on the House Finance Committee. This committee hears all legislation involving taxes and revenue. I have also been re-appointed to the House Environment Committee. This committee not only hears issues regarding the environment, but now it also considers energy policy bills. Energy is an important issue to our district.
I have also returned as a member of the House Judiciary Committee, and this year, I am serving on the House Rules Committee, which gets to decide which bills advance to the House floor for a vote. You can read more information about my committee assignments and my goals in this press release.
WELCOME PROSSER AND BENTON CITY!
Last year, the Washington State Redistricting Commission redrew legislative boundaries in an effort to ensure equal representation among all of the state’s citizens. The final plan accepted by the Legislature also expanded the boundaries of the 16th District. Not only does the district include Walla Walla and Columbia counties and a portion of Franklin County, it also takes in a larger portion of Benton County. In a recent article to the Prosser Record-Bulletin, I described these changes and noted that it is our honor to represent this newest portion of the district. You can read that article here.
If you know someone in that part of the district who is not receiving this e-mail update, please forward this to them. They can subscribe on my Web site at: houserepublicans.wa.gov/Nealey.
SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE BILL RECEIVES HEARING
Today, I had the opportunity to testify in the House Judiciary Committee in support of a bill I introduced that would increase the number of superior court judges who serve Benton and Franklin counties. Six superior court judges work jointly to serve those counties. However, population growth has caused an increase in the number of cases, causing delays on the court calendar. State law says a trial must be held within 90 days for criminal prosecution or the case is dismissed. I believe justice delayed is justice denied. That’s why I introduced House Bill 1175, which would provide one additional superior court judge for Benton and Franklin counties. Click here to listen to the hearing and my testimony (Please allow time for download).
LISTEN TO MY RADIO PROGRAM; WATCH MY VIDEO UPDATES
Communication is vital to the citizens I serve. That’s why I am using different means of media to reach out to the public.
Radio/Podcast – I am recording a weekly program called “Capitol Report” that is broadcast on KWHT/KWVN in Walla Walla, KONA in Pasco, and posted on the Tri-City Herald newspaper web site. You can subscribe to my reports through my audio RSS feed: http://wahousegop.hipcast.com/rss/nealey.xml
You can also get all of the Washington House Republican Capitol Report programs on your iPhone and iPad through the iTunes store by clicking here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/capitol-report-washington/id579017734.
Video updates – Every two weeks, I record a new legislative video update with the latest news from the Legislature. You can view my reports here on YouTube.
In this day and age in which technology and communication are an integral part of our daily lives, I encourage you to take advantage of the many ways to get connected to information about your Washington State Legislature. Here are some other important links to keep you informed:
- Capitol Buzz – A daily electronic clip service of House Republicans. Click here to subscribe.
- The Current – An online publication from House Republicans to include you in the legislative process. Click here to subscribe.
- Photos – Access my photo gallery here.
- TVW – The state’s own version of C-Span, TVW broadcasts floor and committee action live. You can also watch on your computer, smartphone or tablet: www.tvw.org
- Legislature’s Web site – You can get bill reports, committee agendas and information about upcoming activities in the Legislature at: www.leg.wa.gov