Opinion editorial by Mike Hewitt, Maureen Walsh and Terry Nealey: Your 16th District legislators are working for you in 2014 session
The 2014 legislative session opened last week, Jan. 13, in Olympia, and is scheduled for 60 days. During the next nine weeks, we will provide weekly articles in the Prosser Record-Bulletin from the state Capitol to inform you of legislation and issues that have the potential to benefit or impact the 16th Legislative District. We wish to begin this first article by thanking Editor Victoria Walker and the Prosser Record-Bulletin for providing space for these updates.
As we began a new year, many thought the most dominating issue of the 2014 legislative session would be transportation funding. However, an order handed down by the state Supreme Court on Jan. 9 seemed to move education funding to the top of that list. Although K-12 education funding was increased last year by more than $1 billion, the court said it still wasn't sufficient to meet its McCleary decision requirements issued two years ago.
In his State of the State address, Gov. Jay Inslee outlined additional issues for the 2014 Legislature. He wants to increase the state's minimum wage, raise taxes, and have the state be more aggressive against climate change.
Our priorities, however, are very different than his. They reflect your input to us and your viewpoints. We will outline those issues and priorities in coming articles.
For now, we feel it is important to be accessible to you, the people we serve. Here are some ways you can get information and contact us:
- www.leg.wa.gov – Legislature's website to get bill information, committee schedules, and visitor information;
- www.tvw.org – TWV is Washington's public affairs television where you can watch committee hearings and floor action;
- www.SenatorMikeHewitt.com – Sen. Mike Hewitt's website. Call his office at (360) 786-7630. E-mail: email@example.com;
- www.representativemaureenwalsh.com – Rep. Maureen Walsh's website. Call her office at (360) 786-7836. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org;
- www.representativeterrynealey.com – Rep. Terry Nealey's website. Call his office at (360) 786-7828. E-mail: email@example.com; and
- 1-800-562-6000 – The toll-free Legislative Hotline to leave a message for any legislator.
Go to our websites to sign up for regular e-news updates, read our news releases, listen to our radio reports, and watch our video updates.
Your involvement and input is critical to the legislative process. We invite you to contact us any time you have questions, comments or suggestions about legislation and state government.