Dear 11th District constituents,

After one regular legislative session and two special sessions, and scant hours from the end of the fiscal year and the shutdown in public services that would ensue without a new operating budget, we finally reached agreement today on a budget that will fund state services for the next two years.

I appreciate the amount of stress this has put on the tens of thousands of families who either work in state government, depend on public services, or rely on state government for economic development, business, environmental or educational support. I’m sorry the Legislature has put you and your families through this ordeal. Many other families will not be as fortunate because this settlement will undoubtedly be the fifth straight year where the budget has needed to be cut in order to balance against projected revenues. This is one reason I voted against the budget; I could not in good conscience vote to balance the budget on the backs of Washingtonians for a fifth straight year, especially when there were numerous tax loopholes we could have closed to generate much-needed revenue.


Reporting throughout these negotiations has been sketchy because progress has been sketchy.  Negotiators met behind closed doors, embargoed information from those meetings, and bargaining has taken many convoluted paths with many dead-ends and much backtracking to get to the final agreement.

I have my own impressions of the unprecedented process the state has just been subjected to, which I’ll send out a general update later after I’ve had a chance to reflect on the process. While the Operating Budget looks to be done, the Legislature still needs to address the Capital Budget and a transportation revenue package, as well as other bills necessary to implement the budgets. I’ll keep you apprised of the progress of those negotiations.

More soon,