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

Monthly Archives: April 2017

E News- Town hall meetings and college savings options

April 28th, 2017|

Dear friends and neighbors,

Don’t forget, this weekend I am hosting two town hall meetings. I hope you will join me for a productive and informative discussion about this year’s legislative session.

 

Tahoma School District Central Services

Saturday, April 29, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

25720 Maple Valley/Black Diamond Road SE

Maple Valley

 

Eagle Room at Issaquah Town Hall

Saturday, April 29, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

130 E Sunset Way

Issaquah

 

Getting the most bang for your buck when saving for college

As a result of the Legislature lowering college tuition rates last year and the financial markets reaching record highs, the Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) program – one of Washington’s college savings options – is now operating with a roughly $600 million surplus.

Currently, GET credits are valued at $117 per credit in tuition value. However, because of the surge in the markets, those credits are worth about $140 dollars in cash value. I believe that GET holders should be able to take advantage of the increased value of their investments.

I sponsored Senate Bill 5923 to allow GET credit holders to decide if they want to roll the full cash value of their GET credits into the new 529-college savings plan scheduled to open sometime this summer.

Ultimately, this is all about enhancing opportunities for families to save for their children’s futures. By creating an incentive for people to sign up for the 529 plan, we make that program viable. In the meantime, GET will continue to function as yet another reliable option for saving for college.

The bill has garnered bipartisan support and I am hopeful it gains traction during the special session.

Click here to read an article in the Seattle Times about my bill.

Thank you for your engagement,

E News- Session ends with work left to be done

April 21st, 2017|

Dear friends and neighbors,

Sunday marks the final day of the regularly scheduled 2017 legislative session. While I am disappointed that we are once again headed for a special session, my focus so far has been to introduce and pass legislation to help our district and our state. Those efforts succeeded in:

  • Accelerating the timing and funding for the development of a new interchange at State Route 18 and Interstate 90. The project was initially set to begin in 2023 but with these proposed changes, it will begin this year. Moving the timing up on this project was my top priority this session.
  • Making it easier for high school students who take AP classes to get college credit for their work. By establishing a standard AP score requirement for all state institutions of higher learning, we will make the application process easier to navigate so students can choose the college that best meets their academic needs without the fear of their hard-earned AP credits going to waste.
  • Strengthening the small business retirement marketplace I helped establish that will offer no-cost savings plans to make it easier for employees to save for retirement.

During the special session, I will continue to fight hard for the downtown revitalization project for Carnation, extra state support for the replacement of the old and undersized Black Diamond Elementary School with a new, state-of-the-art building, and negotiating a moderate solution to our K-12 funding crisis.

The Legislature has gone into a special session four out of the five years I have represented you in the Senate. As I have done every other time we have gone into a special session, I will refuse my per diem. I strongly believe that we should not be paid by your hard-earned tax dollars for not being able to do our job on time.

We are in this situation because budget negotiations have stalled. As one of the most moderate members in the Legislature, I see this problem as an opportunity to find middle ground. After all, compromise often results in policy that best balances the needs of all Washingtonians.

Thank you for your engagement,

 

Mullet to host two town hall meetings on April 29

April 21st, 2017|

OLYMPIA – Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, will host two town hall meetings in the 5th Legislative District on Saturday, April 29. The locations and times for the events are:

 

Maple Valley: 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Tahoma School District Central Services

25720 Maple Valley/Black Diamond Road SE

 

Issaquah: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Eagle Room at Issaquah Town Hall

130 E Sunset Way

Legislative town hall meetings are typically held during or soon after a legislative session to provide lawmakers and constituents the opportunity to discuss issues important to their districts. Mullet will provide updates on important bills that have been introduced during the 2017 legislative session as well as what’s happening with K-12 funding and transportation improvements.

 

 

E News- Town Hall Meetings on April 29

April 12th, 2017|

Dear friends and neighbors,

Are you interested in how we are planning to fully-fund K-12 education or any other issue before the Legislature this year? If so, I hope you can join me Saturday, April 29 at one of my town hall meetings.

Town halls provide an open forum where I can hear directly from you about the issues that matter to you most and answer your questions.

Town hall locations and times:

Tahoma School District Central Services

Saturday, April 29 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

25720 Maple Valley/Black Diamond Road SE

Maple Valley

 

Eagle Room at Issaquah Town Hall

Saturday, April 29 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

130 E Sunset Way

Issaquah

 

I hope to you see you then and thank you for your engagement,

Mullet: GET holders should see true value of investments

April 12th, 2017|

As a result of the Legislature lowering college tuition rates and the financial markets reaching record highs, the Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) program is currently operating on a roughly $600 million surplus.

Under Senate Bill 5923, introduced today by Sen. Mark Mullet, D- Issaquah, GET credit holders would be able to take advantage of the increased value of their investments when rolling those funds into the state’s new 529-college savings program.

“This is all about enhancing opportunities for families to save for their children’s futures,” said Mullet. “But all of the options we create have to be reliable and fair. By creating an incentive for people to sign up for the 529 plan, we make that program viable. In the meantime, GET will continue to function as yet another reliable option for saving for college.”

GET credits are valued at $117 per credit in tuition value. However, because of the surge in the markets, those credits are now worth about $140 dollars in cash value. Under Mullet’s bill, GET credit holders would have six months to decide if they want to roll the full cash value of their GET credits into the 529-college savings plan once it opens sometime this summer.

When GET was originally created, it was assumed that college tuition rates would continue to rise year after year. However, the Legislature reduced the cost of tuition statewide in the 2015 operating budget. Since then, the GET marketplace has been temporarily frozen. During this two-year freeze, GET assets have increased because the state effectively invested the money.

Mullet added that this bill is an attempt to reimburse GET customers in a fair manner while ensuring the successful launch of the state’s new 529-college savings plan.

SB 5923 has gained bipartisan support and has been referred to the Senate Higher Education Committee for further consideration.

E News- Civic engagement works!

April 6th, 2017|

Dear friends and neighbors,

I’ve come to discover that the best ideas for legislation often come from constituents. Throughout my legislative career, I have enjoyed collaborating with advocates, small business owners and parents from the 5th Legislative District on legislation important to them and our community.

In 2013, a local mom and constituent, Sally Porter, brought to my attention the need for schools to have EpiPens available in case a student suffers a severe allergic reaction. We got right to work on a bill that would allow doctors to prescribe epinephrine to schools in case of emergencies. The bill passed and it was awesome to stand alongside Sally and her son Charlie as the governor signed it into law.

Bonnie Anderson and Diane Weinstein of Issaquah came up with legislation that would direct the state Dept. of Fish & Wildlife to establish a pilot program to recycle fishing line at local parks. In the last year alone, over 100 PVC tubes have been installed at fishing areas to collect old lines, saving miles and miles of line from entangling wildlife.

Last session, Joe and Linda Grez from North Bend, the owners of PropEle Electric Boat Motors, inspired legislation to allow people to use low-power electric boat motors without having to go through the hassle of registering their vessels.

Do you have an idea for a bill? If so, contact me soon. I am beginning to put together my legislative priorities for next session. The sooner you share your idea, the sooner we can get started turning that idea into legislation.

Thank you for your engagement,