Dear Friends and Neighbors,

We are almost at the halfway mark of the 105-day session and we are starting to move legislation out of the Senate and over to the House for consideration. Democrats continue to focus on improving education outcomes for our kids so they will be prepared for the jobs of the future. There will be an estimated 740,000 job openings in our state in just the next five years. Education equals jobs – plain and simple.

Standing up for our values

Gov. Jay Inslee signs an executive order affirming and clarifying Washington state’s policies for state agencies who provide services to immigrant Washingtonians on Thursday in Olympia.

The policy and rhetoric coming from the Trump administration is dangerous and does not represent our inclusive values here in Washington. I was proud to stand in support of Gov. Inslee on Thursday as he signed an executive order reaffirming our state’s commitment to tolerance. Democrats in Olympia will continue to protect our economy and the immigrants who contribute their talent and energy. We have achieved too much to go backward.

Expanding dental health care access for tribes

Gov. Jay Inslee signs Senate Bill 5079 sponsored by Sen. John McCoy in the State Reception Room at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia.

More than a decade since I first introduced the idea, this week Washington took a significant step toward expanding access to oral health care on tribal lands. I was proud to join tribal leaders from across the state as Gov. Inslee signed my bill into law on Wednesday. Senate Bill 5079 lifts restrictions on tribes using federal funding to employ dental therapists — mid-level providers who can perform cleanings, install fillings and provide education on oral health. Read this report from the Tacoma News Tribune about long journey to get this measure passed. I want to thank everyone who worked on this effort over the last several years. We persisted and it paid off!

Telephone Town Hall

I want to thank everyone who participated in the 38th Legislative District Telephone Town Hall last week. You can listen to the town hall here.

GOP’s lack of action on levy cliff hurts schools

Despite bipartisan agreement on the need to shield schools from the levy cliff, SB 5023 and HB 1059, Senate Republicans refuse to allow a vote on a Democratic bill to allow local school districts to continue to collect money that has already been approved by voters. As a result, school districts across the state would lose $358 million in funding. The House passed the levy cliff bill nearly a month ago. As school districts prepare their 2018-19 budgets, they have no choice but to map out Draconian scenarios that would cut programs, lay off teachers and increase class sizes. You can view how much money schools in your area will lose by viewing this map.

Video update

Please take a few minutes to watch my latest video update here.

Stay in touch

It is a privilege to serve you here in Olympia. Please don’t hesitate to contact my office and please connect with me on Facebook and Twitter. Please also follow our work on the Senate Democratic Caucus Facebook page.

Sincerely,

Senator John McCoy
John.McCoy@leg.wa.gov
Phone: 360.786.7674