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  • Legislative Update: Ferries, budgets and more

Legislative Update: Ferries, budgets and more

Nelson banner 2017
MV Chimacum

Traveling the Triangle Route

As many of you know, the Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth route was reduced to a two-boat schedule over the weekend and the Seattle/Bremerton route was running at reduced capacity, with the smaller Sealth.

Anticipating a busy holiday weekend, Washington State Ferries (WSF) asked the crew of the newest ferry, Chimacum, if they were prepared to safely operate the vessel for a limited time. After an extraordinary amount of work by the vessel’s crew and support staff, WSF decided to have the Chimacum temporarily start service last Wednesday. I stayed in close contact with WSF officials as they worked out how to best deliver customers to their destinations.

I am so appreciative of the efforts of everyone involved at WSF, and for the patience of islanders and ferry-riders.

Education Funding Update

Education funding map

Democrats and Republicans have endorsed competing plans to fund education and satisfy the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision. Both sides agree additional revenue sources are needed to meet the state’s obligations to our students and teachers.

But the two plans vary greatly in the total amount of new investments going to schools and impacts on taxpayers.

Statewide, the Democratic plan would invest $8.5 billion additional state and local dollars into K-12 schools over the next four years. By comparison, the Republican plan would invest only $4.5 billion over the same time according to House nonpartisan committee staff analysis.

On the tax side of the debate, Senate Republicans are erroneously claiming 83 percent of taxpayers will see a property tax cut under their plan. This claim has been debunked by nonpartisan analysis.

Click on the Google Map above to see the school investment and taxpayer impact differences for school districts throughout the state.

For more information on the differences in revenue and policy of the two plans, please click here.

Senate Pages from the

34th Legislative District

Van Dusen photo

I have had the pleasure of hosting a number of pages throughout session, including Zachary Van Dusen, an 8th grader at McMurray Middle School (pictured left) and Cameron Bedard, a freshman at Vashon High School (pictured below). The Senate Page Program is a wonderful opportunity for students between the ages of 14 and 17 to come to Olympia and participate in the legislative process. Pages assist senators and staff, attend lectures with guest speakers, and go to page school where they create their own bills in a mock committee setting.

For more information, please click here.

Bedard page

College Junior or Senior in 2018?

Intern announcement

Applications are now being accepted for internships with the Washington State Senate for the 2018 legislative session. Partisan and nonpartisan positions are available in areas of policy and communications. Get credit, get paid and get firsthand experience working in your state government. For more information or to apply, please click here.

Priority Deadline: 11:59 p.m. Oct. 10, 2017

Final Deadline: 8:00 p.m. Oct. 18, 2017

May 31, 2017

WSF logo

VesselWatch: Know Before You Go

Washington State Ferries has critical information on its website for all ferry-goers. Click here for cameras, drive-on space availability, and estimated wait-times. You can view travel alerts here.

Capitol at sunset

Contact Me

Phone: (360) 786-7667

Email: Sharon.Nelson@leg.wa.gov

Website: www