Letter from Olympia

Dear Neighbor,

This week, the Senate passed its versions of the supplemental operating and capital budgets.

I supported the capital budget proposal. This proposal includes four requests that I made for our district: $328,000 for The Farm at Franklin Pierce, an agricultural education program sponsored by the Franklin Pierce School District in Midland; $217,000 for facility planning and acquisition for the Puyallup Food Bank; $150,000 for maternity home expansion for New Beginnings Homes in Puyallup; and $5,000 for historic marker restoration in front of Maplewood Elementary in Puyallup. I am hopeful that we will be able to secure these funds after the capital budget is negotiated between the House and Senate.

When it comes to the Senate version of the supplemental operating budget, I believe that it is more responsibly crafted than the House version, but I voted against it for one reason: it does not include property tax relief. With about $1.5 billion of additional funding beyond what the legislature budgeted for in 2019, we can afford to provide property tax relief to the people of Washington. I hear from seniors in our community who are desperate for property tax relief and are having to make difficult financial choices as a result of their tax burden. I supported a floor amendment which would have set aside additional revenue growth for the purpose of a property tax cut. And, it would have done so without requiring any budget cuts, only impacting future revenue growth. Unfortunately, this amendment was rejected. You can see my remarks on the Senate floor here.

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