(360) 786-7604|Andy.Billig@leg.wa.gov

Monthly Archives: January 2018

E News – Democracy at work!

January 29th, 2018|

Cutoff week

This is a tense week in Olympia as the first of the “cutoff” dates approaches this Friday. Any bills not passed out of a policy committee by Friday, Feb. 2 will be ineligible to be considered for the remainder of this session.

Constituents in Olympia

We love having our constituents from Spokane visit us in Olympia. Thank you to everyone who ventured across the state in the last few weeks to share their perspectives on issues that are important to our community.

We were fortunate to meet with folks from Spokane area childcare providers, ‘I Did The Time,’ Eastern Washington University, the Planned Parenthood teen council, the Spokane Symphony, Greater Spokane Incorporated, the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition, and many other organizations.

As your voice in Olympia, I greatly value your input as I work to improve our city and state. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any comments, concerns or questions you may have as we progress through this short session.

Telephone town hall

I joined my 3rd Legislative District colleagues, Reps. Timm Ormsby and Marcus Riccelli, to host a telephone town hall event that reached over 2,600 constituents! Thank you to everyone who participated and offered their thoughtful questions and comments.

If you were not able to join, you can listen to a recording of the telephone town hall meeting by clicking here.

Democracy Lobby Day

Last week I also had the pleasure to speak with citizen-advocates from Fix Democracy First and the League of Women Voters. We discussed a range of voting access and campaign finance transparency bills that we are working to pass into law this session.

Keep in touch

Please keep in touch throughout the legislative session. I value your input as we work to improve opportunity and prosperity in our state. Do not hesitate to contact me if you have a comment, idea or questions.

You can reach me by email at andy.billig@leg.wa.gov or by phone at (360) 786-7604.

Onward!

Andy

  • Permalink Gallery

    E News – Check and check – capital budget and DISCLOSE Act pass the Senate!

E News – Check and check – capital budget and DISCLOSE Act pass the Senate!

January 23rd, 2018|

Capital budget passed!

I am pleased to announce that the capital construction budget, blocked from a vote since last year, finally passed the Legislature. The capital budget was the top priority for our new Senate majority and funds construction projects that will generate 19,000 jobs statewide.

In the Spokane area alone, the state will fund $125 million for local projects including:

  • The East Central Community Center dental clinic
  • The YWCA Family Justice Center
  • Emmanuel Life Center
  • Eastern Washington University science building
  • Spokane Community College – Main Building South Wing renovation
  • Dental clinic at Providence Sacred Heart’s campus

DISCLOSE Act


The DISCLOSE Act, a critical campaign finance transparency bill, passed the Senate floor with bipartisan support this week, taking us one step closer to shining a light on dark money in Washington state elections. After working to pass this bill for several years, it was gratifying to have the DISCLOSE Act be the very first bill to pass the Senate this year.

Campaign transparency creates informed voters, increases accountability, reduces the opportunity for corruption, and strengthens our democracy. Watch my floor speech on TVW by clicking the picture above.

Telephone town hall

Rep. Tim Ormsby, Rep. Marcus Riccelli and I will be hosting a telephone town hall on Tuesday, Jan. 23 from 6:00-7:00pm to provide a legislative update and answer your questions. Thousands of constituents will receive calls that will join them in the town hall just before 6 pm on Jan. 23.

Or, you are welcome to call in to the meeting at (877) 229-8493 and enter the ID code 116276.

Keep in touch

Please keep in touch throughout the legislative session. I value your input as we work to improve opportunity and prosperity in our state. Do not hesitate to contact me if you have a comment, idea or questions.

You can reach me by email at andy.billig@leg.wa.gov or by phone at (360) 786-7604.

Onward!

Andy

  • Permalink Gallery

    Billig, Ormsby and Riccelli help pass the capital budget, investing in local jobs and infrastructure

Billig, Ormsby and Riccelli help pass the capital budget, investing in local jobs and infrastructure

January 18th, 2018|

OLYMPIA – The capital budget, which passed both chambers this evening, will get Washington back to work on much-needed construction and renovation projects, investing $4.3 billion in more than 1,400 projects across the state. This includes a $1 billion investment in school construction projects.

Spokane received $125 million for local projects including:

  • The East Central Community Center
  • The YWCA Family Justice Center
  • Emmanuel Life Center (kitchen)
  • Eastern Washington University (Science Center)
  • Spokane Falls Community College (Fine and Applied Arts replacement)
  • Spokane Community College (Main Building South Wing renovation)

“After months of delay, I am proud that we were able to pass this important construction and jobs package within the first two weeks of session,” said Sen. Andy Billig. “People – especially vulnerable people – have been waiting too long for state funds to tackle the homeless crisis, build schools, and improve our state’s mental health programs. Our state can now move forward making critical investments in every community that drives our economy and supports our most vulnerable.”

“I’m glad our Republican friends decided to join us in passing the capital budget,” said longtime Spokane Rep. Timm Ormsby. “It means we can finally make investments in school construction, mental health facilities and other projects throughout the state, including Spokane. We’re talking about $4.3 billion that will create 19,000 jobs in the state.”

This budget also expands dental access to more Washington residents in Spokane and statewide. Spokane will benefit from these investments by receiving:

  • A dental residency program that will provide treatment to 12,000 patients a year in our community – a majority of them Medicaid-eligible.
  • Dental clinic at Providence Sacred Heart’s campus (6 chairs)
  • New community dental clinic near Holy Family (20 chairs)

Rep. Marcus Riccelli said, “The lack of affordable and accessible dental care in our region is an ongoing problem for families in our region. This is especially true for medically-fragile adults. Our capital budget invests in much-needed dental clinic capacity grants for the Spokane area. The budget will kick start construction projects that will improve the health and wellbeing of Spokane families and students and bring jobs to all corners of our state.”

The capital budget now heads to the Governor for his signature.

Billig’s campaign finance legislation passes the Senate

January 18th, 2018|

OLYMPIA – Sen. Andy Billig, D-Spokane, released the following statement after the Senate passed the DISCLOSE Act (SB 5991), his signature campaign finance transparency legislation:

“The bipartisan Senate vote tonight on the DISCLOSE Act takes us one step closer to shining a light on dark money in Washington state elections. Campaign transparency increases accountability, reduces the opportunity for corruption and strengthens our democracy.

“The disclosure loophole that this bill will fix is being exploited by groups across the political spectrum. Ultimately, this bill benefits not one party or another but the citizens of our state. Most importantly, transparency of the source of money in elections creates more informed voters, which ultimately results in a healthier democracy.”

SB 5991 passed on a 32-17 vote and now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

E News – A bit of Spokane in Olympia

January 16th, 2018|

Today we start the second week of the Legislative session. Early in session, we are mostly holding hearings in committee, refining bills and deciding what will move forward to the next phase of the legislative process. We will also be on the Senate floor later this week to pass a few high priority bills.

A bit of Spokane in Olympia

New to our Olympia office are handmade prints depicting some of the most iconic landmarks of the 3rd Legislative District. Crafted by Spokane artist Chris Bovey, the prints bring a little bit of Spokane to our Olympia office. It was a pleasure to meet Chris and his family on their tour of the Capitol last week, and we extend an invitation to everyone from the 3rd Legislative District to visit us in Olympia and see the prints in person!

How a bill becomes a law: Step 1

Every bill that becomes a law starts with a drop in the “hopper.” This is a picture of our team dropping SB 6345 into the hopper to start its legislative journey. The bill would place a 10-year moratorium on fracking in Washington state.

 

 

 

 

 

That voice on the radio sounds familiar

Listen to my interview with KUOW Public Radio about our priorities for the 2018 Legislative session.

 

Welcome Maggie!

We’re excited to welcome Maggie Hawk as our office’s intern this session. Maggie graduated from Shadle Park High School and is studying Cultural Anthropology at Western Washington University. She looks forward to learning more about state government, meeting Spokane community members and representing her hometown in Olympia.

 

 

 

 

Keep in touch

Please keep in touch throughout the legislative session. I value your input as we work to improve opportunity and prosperity in our state. Do not hesitate to contact me if you have a comment, idea or questions.

You can reach me by email at andy.billig@leg.wa.gov or by phone at 360-786-7604.

Onward!

Andy

E News – Let’s get started!

January 9th, 2018|

OPENING DAY

Here we go! Welcome to day one of this short, sixty-day Legislative session. The new Senate majority, coupled with the activism and energy I have seen in Spokane over this Legislative interim, has me more motivated than ever to make meaningful progress for the people of Spokane and the entire state this session.

Priority Bills

  • One of our highest priorities is to pass the capital construction budget that will fund several critical projects in Spokane and create 19,000 jobs statewide.
  • We will take meaningful steps to increase voter access so more people can engage and participate in our democracy. These bills include SB 5110, SB 6002, and SB 6021.
  • The DISCLOSE ACT (SB 5991), which will shine light on dark money spent on elections in Washington State, is a crucial campaign finance disclosure bill that we hope to pass early in session.
  • There is bipartisan support to repeal the death penalty this year to both save money and eliminate a punishment that is applied unfairly. (SB 6052)
  • A follow up to HB 2242, our major education funding and policy legislation from last session.

Welcome Natalie

In the last newsletter, I introduced my new Legislative Assistant, Noelle, and today I am pleased to welcome Natalie Riel as our Session Aide. Natalie is from Spokane Valley and recently graduated from the University of Washington. She is excited for the opportunity to serve the people of the 3rd Legislative District in the Senate this year.

 

 

 

 

Apply to be a Page!

Do you know a high school student who would enjoy spending a week as a Senate page? We have a few page slots remaining. Page applications can be downloaded by clicking here.

 

 

 

 

Keep in Touch

Please keep in touch throughout the legislative session. I value your input as we work to improve opportunity and prosperity in our state. Do not hesitate to contact me if you have a comment, idea or questions. You can reach me by email andy.billig@leg.wa.gov or by phone at 360-786-7604.

Onward!

Andy