(360) 786-7608|mark.mullet@leg.wa.gov

Monthly Archives: January 2017

E News- Schools deserve certainty

January 25th, 2017|

Dear friends and neighbors,

This week the House passed legislation that would protect local school levy dollars for one more year while the Legislature continues to works on a school funding overhaul. It was the first bill passed by the House this year and it should be the first bill the Senate passes too.

During the recession, lawmakers temporarily hiked the amount of money schools could raise through property taxes so that school districts could survive statewide cuts in school spending. This increase is set to expire at the end of August 2017, posing a serious problem for school districts that rely on local levies. The schools in our community stand to lose more than $41 million.

Essentially, extending this deadline out another year is an insurance policy for school districts so they can budget for the coming school year with some certainty. Without it, schools across the state could lose upwards of $350 million. This would mean layoff notices for teachers and services cut for students, including kids with special needs. Getting this done now should be the Legislature’s number-one priority.

Unfortunately, the Senate seems to be closed for business. We are almost four weeks into session and Republican leadership has yet to bring forward a single bill for a vote. Adding to this standstill, one of their members resigned abruptly yesterday to take a job with the Trump administration. As a result, the Senate is temporarily split with Republicans and Democrats having 24 members each.

This shouldn’t be a partisan issue. We can pass this together, and should, in the interest of students in schools across the state.

Best regards,

E News- Let’s fix the SR 18/ I-90 interchange sooner

January 18th, 2017|

Dear friends and neighbors,

In last week’s e-newsletter, I mentioned that my number-one priority this session was to keep traffic moving. Yesterday, I sent a letter to the chairs of the Senate and House transportation committees urging them to accelerate the timing of the SR 18/ I-90 interchange project so production of the new interchange can start this year instead of in 2023.

Anyone who travels this section of I-90 knows how maddening the gridlock and traffic can be. But it’s more than just a nuisance. It’s flat out dangerous. Frustrated motorists are illegally cutting lines and making risky U-turns, and the traffic in this area is only going to get worse as the population continues to grow. In fact, the cities in the surrounding area have grown by 20 percent in the last decade and there isn’t any sign that’s going to let up.

Moving the start date up on this project also makes fiscal sense. The gridlock in this area is hampering commerce and hurting Washington’s businesses — particularly freight travelling from Eastern Washington to our ports. Also, all the accidents and illegal traffic maneuvers are forcing the state to pay more to the Washington State Patrol for their services in the area. Lastly, we can save the state money by taking advantage of better interest rates that are available right now. Resolving this problem now is the responsible thing to do.

Because of the congestion at this interchange, more drivers are taking alternate routes, clogging up other sections of road and highway. One area that has been hit hard is the intersection at SR 169 and Cedar Grove. Last session, we were able to secure funding in the transportation budget to conduct a traffic safety study of SR 169 between Maple Valley and Renton. That study indicates that a roundabout at the Cedar Grove/ SR 169 intersection could speed up the flow of traffic in this area. I’m going to explore this recommendation further. We need to get creative if we are going keep traffic moving and cut down on accidents.

Thanks for taking the time to read my e-newsletter. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. The better I understand your priorities and values, the better I can represent your interests.

Best regards,

  • Permalink Gallery

    Mullet urges lawmakers to fix SR 18/ I-90 Interchange sooner

Mullet urges lawmakers to fix SR 18/ I-90 Interchange sooner

January 17th, 2017|

Olympia – Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, wants the state to speed up improvements to one of the most congested and dangerous interchanges in the state, where State Route 18 meets Interstate 90.

A redesign of the intersection has been approved but completion of the project isn’t expected until 2028, Mullet feels that isn’t soon enough to address a serious public safety issue.

Mullet sent a letter Tuesday to the chairs of the Senate and House transportation committees urging them to accelerate the timing of the project so production of the new interchange can start this year instead of 2023.

“Anyone who travels this section of I-90 knows how maddening the gridlock and traffic can be,” said Mullet. “But it’s more than just a nuisance. It’s flat out dangerous. Cars are illegally cutting lines and making risky U-turns. We need to take action now to get traffic moving again in this area.”

The location of the SR 18 and I-90 interchange is in the heart of the 5th Legislative District that Sen. Mullet represents. Between 2000 and 2010, the 5th district was the second fastest growing district in the state. Many of the surrounding cities have grown by more than 20 percent in the past decade. Mullet says traffic is only going to get worse as the population continues to grow.

“Moving the start date up on this project also makes fiscal sense,” added Mullet. “The gridlock in this area is hampering commerce and hurting Washington’s businesses — specifically freight travelling from Eastern Washington to our ports. Also, because of all the accidents and illegal traffic maneuvers, the state is paying more to the Washington State Patrol for their services in the area. Resolving this problem now is the responsible thing to do.”

Sen. Mullet also noted that accelerating the project would enable the state to take advantage of better interest rates that are available right now and complete the project for less money.

E News- Back to work

January 11th, 2017|

Dear friends and neighbors,

The 2017 legislative session kicked off on Monday and I’m happy to be back in Olympia. On Monday, I may have been the first legislator in the history of the state Senate to be sworn in while on crutches. In case you missed it, I was involved in a ski accident and damaged my knee, requiring surgery. Fortunately, I’m back on my feet thanks to the crutches (and the surgeons!) and ready to get back to work for you.

This session, I will continue my role as the ranking Democratic member of the Senate Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee and as a member of the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Committee. Additionally, I will now be a member of the Senate Health Care Committee. Finding ways to efficiently deliver and provide health care has always been a priority of mine, so I look forward to this new assignment.

Additionally, on Tuesday I was appointed by Lt. Gov. Brad Owen to serve on the Washington State Investment Board – which manages investments for 17 retirement plans for public employees in the state.

Here are some of my priorities for the 2017 session:

  • Keep traffic moving – During the 2015 session, I was able to secure funding for a new interchange at Highway 18 and Interstate 90. Now I’m fighting to get the start date of this project moved up five years, to 2018. The traffic congestion in this area is maddening, so we need to do something now to get some relief.
  • Make sure local tax dollars stay local – The state Supreme Court has ordered lawmakers to fully fund public schools by 2018. They’ve also ruled that the Legislature must adjust the amount of funding schools can raise from local levies. As the father of four daughters, I know how great our schools are in the 5th District as a result of local support. This session, I’m going to work hard to protect your local investments and find a way to make sure local levies are part of the solution to fully funding our schools.
  • Find common ground – As one of the most moderate members of the Senate, I often feel like I’m on an island all to myself. Often to the right of my colleagues from Seattle and just as often to the left of my colleagues from the other side of the mountains, I’m most comfortable in the middle. This session, I will continue to build relationships on both sides of the aisle. After all, compromise often results in policy that works for all Washingtonians.

Thanks for taking the time to read my e-newsletter. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. The better I understand your priorities and values, the better I can represent your interests.

Best regards,