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Dear Neighbors and Friends,

As we head into the third week of the 2018 legislative session here in Olympia, I want to take a moment to provide a brief update. I was honored to be selected by colleagues to serve as Caucus Chair this year. As the Senate Democrats navigate our first session back in the majority, I will continue to help foster our vision and values during this short 60-day session.

In my culture, leaders are often seen as peacemakers, and I intend to keep the peace within our own ranks and when we reach across the aisle to work with our Republican colleagues. It’s important we realize that we are all in this together and must find common ground if we are going to make positive changes for all people in our state.

I will also serve on the following committees:

  • Energy, Environment & Technology
  • Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks
  • Transportation
  •  Rules

Finishing on Time

Last year, the Legislature ran for nearly 200 days, marking the third year in a row that the Legislature did not end in time. Now that the Democrats are in control of the Senate, we intend to conclude the state’s business within 60 days, as I think voters rightly expect. Republicans both in our Washington and the other Washington have set the governing bar extremely low. Our job will now be to raise that bar and restore public confidence in functioning government.

Rural Broadband

In today’s digital world, having access to broadband internet is survival necessity. Much like electricity and telephones, access to affordable internet service connects people to the world around them. Those of us in large cities may not view internet access as an equity issue, but more than 200,000 people in Washington still lack access to broadband and more than 400,000 have access to only one provider and no choice. A staggering 68 percent of Americans on tribal lands remain cut off from broadband access.

I introduced legislation last session to expand the authority of public utility districts and ports that want to invest in broadband, and I support other bills that would provide an improved pathway for public-private partnerships.

Without fiber-optic cables, rural reservations and communities will remain cut off from access to education and economic opportunity everyone else enjoys. I will continue to push for rural broadband access, as all residents deserve to be connected to those around them.

Stay informed this Session

The Legislature has a variety of tools to keep you informed about what is happening during the legislative session.

  1. You can sign up for updates via email and get anything from lists of bills next to be voted on the floor, to committee schedules, to legislative reports, right to your inbox. To sign up, click here. (link)
  2. Watch the action for yourself. Floor debates and votes, press conferences and public hearings in committees can be viewed on www.TVW.org (link).
  3. Want to know more about the budget and state’s finances? Go to www.fiscal.wa.gov.
  4. The main website for the Legislature is www.leg.wa.gov. You can find all bill information, contact information for legislators, state laws and legislative agendas.

Video update

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you here in Olympia. Please do not hesitate to contact me with your questions and concerns.

Sincerely,

Sen. John McCoy

John.McCoy@leg.wa.gov

Phone: 360-786-7674