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  • Back home and connecting with community

Back home and connecting with community

Dear Neighbor,

It’s been a few months since the 2018 legislative session wrapped up and I’m thankful to be back home. I’m always impressed by the ability of people in Kitsap to take time out of their busy lives to engage in important civic affairs. I’ve been busy too – the recent Earth Day celebration in Bainbridge, a fun meeting with the Poulsbo Rotary, the Village Green breakfast in Kingston last week and a great visit with SWERV (pictured below) just a few days ago – I’ve enjoyed spending time with so many dedicated people who care about making our home a better place.

I had a chance to share a legislative update with SWERV, an informal network of women engaged in their communities.

Below you can find information about how to get involved helping our state on a variety of boards and commissions and a cool project involving peregrine falcons! Thanks for taking time to read this update and I hope to see you out in the community soon!

Warm Regards,

State offers new online Retirement Marketplace

Thanks to legislation recently passed in Olympia, Washington has launched a new tool for people to plan for retirement. The Retirement Marketplace offers small business owners and individuals a simple way to shop for state-verified, low-fee retirement savings plans. It’s estimated that about 2 million workers in our state don’t have access to a plan through their employers, while research shows people with access are 15 times more likely to save. I’m hoping this helps bridge the gap!

Exciting new changes to GET

I wanted to share some updates the Legislature made this year to Washington state’s prepaid college tuition program, GET (Guaranteed Education Tuition). Senate Bill 6087 lets participants who bought into the GET program before July 1, 2015, directly share in unanticipated investment gains that the program experienced in recent years. Beginning no earlier than June 15, GET account holders will have three months to redeem units for what they are actually worth and to roll that amount into Washington’s new DreamAhead College Investment Plan, which works like a 401(k) retirement-savings plan. Once the 90-day period closes, the GET Committee will look at the difference between actual and purchase value of remaining units and award remaining participants additional units accordingly. For more information see get.wa.gov. Also, a quick reminder that GET will close its 2018 enrollment on May 31.

News: Broadband, budget, women’s health, E-bikes

 

Here’s a roundup of some local coverage of legislative-related issues over the past several weeks:

New boxes for peregrine falcons

The habitat surrounding the Agate Pass Bridge is prime peregrine falcon nesting ground and new boxes installed by the state Department of Transportation during recent bridge maintenance should help the protected species. The boxes will also simplify cleanup when nesting season ends. Transportation officials report one other added bonus is that the presence of the falcons results in fewer pigeons on the bridge, who tend to leave behind their own unique mess.

A special honor from Washington PTA

One of the most important reasons I ran for office more than a decade ago was my commitment to quality public education and I have dedicated a lot of effort in the Legislature toward this goal, for my kids and all kids. That’s why I was extremely grateful to earn the 2018 Friend of Children Award from the Washington State Parent Teacher Association. The award recognizes an individual or organization for state-level dedication “to all children” in Washington state by supporting the whole child through advocacy, education, family and community engagement, health and well-being, and safety.

This means so much coming from the thousands of dedicated parents across the state. For more than a century, parents have helped guide our public school system, and the work must continue both in your own schools and at the Capitol in Olympia.

Repairs at Bainbridge ferry terminal

State ferry officials have discovered a broken pile at the Bainbridge terminal that will need to be fixed in the coming weeks. They will be reinforcing the overhead loading walkway to compensate for the bad pile. Next year, the state is planning a comprehensive restructuring of the walkway – learn more by clicking here.

Volunteer on a state board or commission

The governor is looking for people with unique talents, skills and experience to serve the state by participating on boards and commissions. These groups take on a wide range of challenges dealing with natural resources, health care, transportation, criminal justice, technology — the list goes on. Anyone interested in being appointed will need to fill out this application. Please explore the Boards and Commissions Profiles if you are interested in learning more about the many opportunities to serve!