DATE CHANGE: Telephone town hall moved to Monday, March 30

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

Due to anticipated House floor action on Thursday evening, Rep. Elizabeth Scott and I have changed the date for our telephone town hall. Our community conversation will now be Monday, March 30, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The number you can call to participate remains the same: (360) 350-6256. We look forward to hearing your views and answering your questions.

In your service,
Dan

State Representative Dan Kristiansen
39th Legislative District
335C Legislative Building - P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7967 or Toll-free: (800) 562-6000
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E-mail update: Telephone town hall on Thursday, April 2 | March 25, 2015

    
Dear Friends and Neighbors:
I will be hosting a telephone town hall with Rep. Elizabeth Scott on Thursday, April 2, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. To join the community conversation, please call (360) 350-6256. Similar to a call-in radio show, the format allows you to ask questions, participate in poll questions, or just listen in throughout the hour. We hope you can join us!
Questions prior to the event can be directed to me at (360) 786-7967 or dan.kristiansen@leg.wa.gov, or to Rep. Scott at (360) 786-7816 or elizabeth.scott@leg.wa.gov.
The 105-day legislative session is scheduled to adjourn April 26.
In your service,
Dan
State Representative Dan Kristiansen
39th Legislative District
335C Legislative Building - P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7967 or Toll-free: (800) 562-6000
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E-mail update: Remembering the Oso landslide | March 20, 2015

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

Sunday will mark the one-year anniversary of the Oso landslide. This tragic event has had a profound effect on so many of us, with thoughts that will remain for a lifetime. The Oso landslide also revealed amazing stories of heroism, compassion and perseverance in our communities and beyond. I witnessed many of these acts firsthand and it was truly inspiring. I talk about some of these experiences in my recent video update.

Medal of Valor | Senate Bill 5035

The collective response of our communities was the inspiration for Senate Bill 5035. The measure, prime sponsored by Sen. Kirk Pearson and signed into law March 2, allows the Medal of Valor to be awarded to a group of persons who saved, or attempted to save, the life of another at the risk of serious injury to themselves. Prior to this legislation, the Medal of Valor could only be awarded to individuals. This article covered the bill signing.

Recipients of the Medal of Valor are selected by a nominating committee. No one has received the award since 2007, when four people -- including 39th District residents Timothy Bourasaw and Rick Bowers -- were recognized for their valor. You can learn about their stories in this article.

The Medal of Valor was awarded for the first time in 2006. That year, Jim Swett, also from the 39th District, received the award. You can learn more about his act of courage here. This means seven out of the 12 people who have received the Medal of Valor are from the 39th District.

The Medal of Valor cannot be awarded to police officers or firefighters, or others whose actions are a result of their public duties as a first responder. More information about the Medal of Valor, in addition to the Medal of Merit, can be found at this Secretary of State Web page.

Joint session of the Legislature

There was a joint session of the Legislature for the Medal of Valor and Medal of Merit on Wednesday. The communities of Arlington, Darrington, Oso and the Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe were awarded individual Medal of Valor certificates for their outstanding acts of valor and personal sacrifice, at risk of injury and death, in assisting with rescue, recovery and relief efforts of the Oso landslide. Accepting the award on behalf of their communities were: Brantly Stupey (Arlington); Quinn Nations (Darrington); Willy Harper (Oso); and Kevin Lenon (Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe). All four embody the spirit and inspiration of their communities in the aftermath of the Oso landslide.

Medal of Valor
Pictured: Sen. Kirk Pearson, Rep. Elizabeth Scott and Rep. Dan Kristiansen with the four Medal of Valor recipients and the Color Guard for the ceremony.  

The presentation of the flags was conducted by Darrington Fire District 24. The invocation was provided by Reverend Joel Johnson, Chaplain, Oso Fire Department, and pastor at Assembly of God Church in Arlington.

At the ceremony, the Medal of Merit was awarded to Gretchen Schodde and Billy Frank Jr. (deceased). These individuals are not connected to the Oso landslide, but represent amazing stories. You can learn more about them, in addition to the details of both awards, in this event program.

Pictures from the ceremony can be found in this online gallery. The Everett Herald and KOMO News were among the media outlets that covered the event.

Events this weekend

On Sunday at 9:00 a.m., Snohomish County will host an event to honor and remember the 43 people who lost their lives in the Oso landslide. SR 530 will be closed just west of Darrington and east of Oso, from 9:00 a.m. to noon. You can learn more about this event and others that will be held in the area this weekend here.

Telephone town hall on April 2

I will be hosting a telephone town hall with Rep. Elizabeth Scott on Thursday, April 2, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. To join in, simply call (360) 350-6256. Once connected, you can ask us questions or just listen in. We hope you can join us that evening.

In your service,
Dan

State Representative Dan Kristiansen
39th Legislative District
Website: www.representativedankristiansen.com
335C Legislative Building - P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7967 or Toll-free: (800) 562-6000
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E-mail update: Four bills that constituents have contacted me about | March 16, 2015

 Rep. Dan Kristiansen
Home | About Dan | Newsroom | Sponsored Bills | 39th District Map

Dear Friends and Neighbors:
On March 11, we passed another legislative deadline. Here are a few “fun" facts you can bring up next time you have your friends over or gather around the water cooler. As of March 13, there have been 1,219 House bills, House Joint Memorials, House Joint Resolutions and House Concurrent Resolutions introduced. The House voted on and passed 327 bills. These bills have now been referred to the Senate for consideration.

You can imagine, given the number of bills introduced, the daily number of contacts from constituents encouraging me to support or oppose various bills and issues. Sometimes they agree with me; sometimes they don't. For example, in my last e-mail update on the topic of I-594 I received this sampling of feedback:

  • "Thanks Dan for your part in creating this bill." (House Bill 2164) - Bill, no hometown provided
  • "DO NOT REPEAL 594. It serves a valuable purpose. You should be able to come up with legislation that will fix its shortcomings. There is too much good in that measure to just dump it. If it requires another vote of the people, it would be worth it." - Bruce, Sedro Woolley
  • "You continually astound me with both your stupidity and obstinacy." - Bruce, Granite Falls

It is inspiring to me to know people are engaging in the legislative process and willing to share their opinions. This exchange of ideas is important to me as I decide how to vote on bills.

Four bills

Below are four bills I have received a lot of correspondence on this legislative session.

VaccinationsHouse Bill 2009 would eliminate the philosophical or personal objection exemption from child immunization requirements. This legislation, which has the full support of the governor, is controversial and the subject of several news stories. This  issue essentially comes down to parental rights and public safety. I oppose House Bill 2009. While I believe many parents should vaccinate their children, I ultimately believe it should be a choice for parents. Both options carry risks and it should be up to parents to weigh the factors.

  • Status: Passed out of the House Health Care and Wellness Committee. The House Democrats chose not to bring this to the House floor for a vote before house of origin cutoff last Wednesday, which means it is likely "dead" for the rest of the legislative session.
  • Constituent feedback: "HB 2009 is an erosion of our parental rights. As parents, we have a duty to protect our children from harm, keep their bodies healthy, and research everything they consume in order to verify its safety." - Cassandra, Granite Falls

Taxation |  House Bill 1550 would clarify the taxation of amusement, recreation and physical fitness services.

  • Status: Passed off the House floor on a 70-27 vote on March 3. I was out sick this day and excused from the vote. I would have voted "no" because this measure would apply a retail sales tax to skydiving, ballooning, hangliding, paragliding and parasailing. The legislation has been referred to the Senate Ways and Means Committee.
  • Constituent feedback: "You need to find other things to tax besides skydiving." - Kirstie, Arlington

Water rights | House Bill 1793 would require counties and cities to adopt ordinances outlining when and how alternative water supplies may be used to satisfy the potable water requirements for new construction. This would apply to a property which is not eligible to be served by a water purveyor and for which new, unmitigated surface or groundwater withdrawals are not legally available on a year-round basis. It would also require the Department of Ecology (DOE) to coordinate with local government entities and utility districts to identify possible capital projects that may assist in providing water to remedy any possible violations of a Supreme Court ruling.

  • Status: Passed off the House floor with a 53-45 vote on March 5. I voted "no" because it doesn't fix the underlying problem. This bill is a workaround for the state Department of Ecology’s Instream Flow Rule, which needs to be changed rather than placing an expensive compliance burden on people. I find it ironic the agency (DOE) that is taking away some water rights is the same agency that gave permission, through a permit, to put in a well and then are told the well can’t be used. As many know, putting in a well is not an inexpensive endeavor. This is an agency that is enforcing rules it made, not laws passed by the Legislature. These actions have adversely affected property rights and cost landowners a lot of money. The measure has been referred to the Senate Agriculture, Water and Rural Economic Development Committee.
  • Constituent feedback: "Water solutions need to start with re-writing the Skagit Instream Flow Rule as it should have been written in the first place.  Not by omitting groups that need water or forcing them to un-reasonable water solutions when the answer is right under their feet." - Rich, Sedro-Woolley

Court-imposed legal financial obligations | House Bill 1390 would, among other things, eliminate interest accrual on the non-restitution portions of legal financial
obligations (LFOs).

  • Status: Passed off the House floor on a 94-4 vote on March 9. I voted "yes" because this measure would reform our state's system for court-imposed legal financial obligations. It would also ensure restitution to victims, including interest accrued on the financial obligation, is the highest priority and first obligation that must be paid. This bill has been referred to the Senate Law and Justice Committee.
  • Constituent feedback: "Our system of LFOs is unfair, delays restitution payment to victims, and makes successful reentry less likely." - Elizabeth, Sedro Woolley 

Video update: the first 60 days

I sat down at the end of last week for a video update to share my thoughts on the first 60 days of the legislative session, and what we can expect moving forward in the next month and a half. You can find the video here.

Please keep the feedback coming. I appreciate it!

In your service,
Dan

State Representative Dan Kristiansen
39th Legislative District
335C Legislative Building - P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7967 or Toll-free: (800) 562-6000
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E-mail update: I-594: popular, but flawed | March 5, 2015

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

Initiative 594 passed with 59.2 percent of the statewide vote last November. The initiative, which went into effect December 4, requires background checks for all gun sales and transfers. This means any time a gun is sold or exchanges hands, with a few exceptions, the parties involved must go to a licensed firearm dealer to have a background check. I-594 also doubled the waiting time on handgun sales from five to 10 days.

While popular overall, many areas of the state were not as supportive of the initiative.  Only 42.5 percent of voters supported I-594 in the 39th District. I was one of the people who voted against it.

I understand why the concept may sound good, but in practical application I-594 is presenting a number of problems to law-abiding gun owners and businesses in our state. For example, it prevents:

  • a victim of domestic violence from timely obtaining a firearm from someone to defend against an imminent threat of harm;
  • armed private security guards from doing their jobs protecting persons and property because they are issued weapons during that job;
  • veterans who have been honorably discharged from the military from using issued firearms with honor guards for funerals or flag ceremonies;
  • active duty military personnel from giving their firearms to family or friends to use while at a private shooting range or to care for their firearms while they are away on training or deployed for duty;
  • firearm safety instructors and firearm trainers from sharing firearms on a shooting range because it is considered a transfer requiring a check; and
  • certain businesses from making safety repairs to firearms or firearm accessories, such as holsters, because it is considered a transfer to receive the firearm they were asked to fix or make accessories for.

As you might expect, there have been bills introduced this year that would repeal I-594, (House Bill 1245), fix small parts of it (House Bill 1533) and even go beyond (House Bill 1747) what the initiative established.

Bipartisan legislation

There has also been a bipartisan bill introduced, which I am co-sponsor of, that would comprehensively fix the problems with I-594 explained above. House Bill 2164 would only apply to persons not otherwise disqualified from possessing a firearm. In other words, it empowers those who have followed the law. The legislation was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

Gun issues are often emotional for people and it's easy to understand why. There are those who believe strongly in the 2nd Amendment and fear their constitutional rights are being eroded. And there are others who have been personally affected by a tragedy involving gun violence. I happen to fall into both of these categories.

If you want to share your opinions on House Bill 2164, or any bill for that matter, simply go to this website, enter the bill number, and click on the "Comment on this bill" icon. This will allow you to say if you support, oppose or are neutral on legislation, and provide you an opportunity to share your comments. This information will be shared with your state lawmakers.

Survey

I would like to know your views on the I-594 issue and House Bill 2164. Please consider taking this short survey. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sultan science teacher honored by national group

Karrisa Kelley, who teaches chemistry and biology at Sultan High School, is being honored by the National Science Teacher Association for her work in the classroom. She will attend the organization's annual conference in Chicago this month. Karrisa is a great example of a teacher providing creative and hands-on learning experiences for students. Learn more in this Everett Herald article.

Honoring those who assisted in the Oso landslide rescue operations

I had an opportunity to join my 39th District seatmates in a ceremony at the Capitol for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps personnel who assisted in the Oso landslide rescue operations. It was a special and emotional event. You can watch it here (my remarks are at the 12:40 mark).

As the anniversary of the Oso landslide approaches, I will be sharing more information about what we will be doing in the Legislature to honor the victims and communities.

In your service,
Dan

State Representative Dan Kristiansen
39th Legislative District
335C Legislative Building - P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7967 or Toll-free: (800) 562-6000
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E-mail update: Understanding the legislative calendar | February 26, 2015

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

It's hard to believe, but it's day 46 of the 105-day legislative session. With the midway point fast approaching, I thought it would be a good time to explain where we are at in the legislative process and what you can expect from your citizen Legislature in the upcoming months.

Session Cutoff Calendar

Believe it or not, the Legislature is actually a pretty organized place. Each year, state lawmakers set deadlines for themselves to provide consistency for the House and Senate. This helps the legislative process run smoothly and ensures a level of predictability for anyone who wants to be involved.The Legislature is guided each year by an official Session Cutoff Calendar. This document is approved at the very beginning of the legislative session. On this calendar is a set of six cutoff dates. These are important deadlines that allow state lawmakers to narrow their focus and the amount of bills they have to consider.

Policy committee cutoff

The first deadline was policy committee cutoff on February 20. All policy bills without a fiscal impact must pass out of their respective committees or they are generally considered "dead" for the year. A "dead" bill can best be described as one that will likely not move forward in the Legislature in its current form.

One of the results of policy committee cutoff is many bills move from policy committees to fiscal committees (Appropriations, Capital Budget, Finance, Transportation and General Government and Information Technology). Fiscal committees handle bills that have some kind of fiscal impact on the state. Fiscal impact generally means $50,000 or more, but there is no set rule.

Fiscal committee cutoff

This leads us to our next deadline: fiscal committee cutoff on February 27. This is when all bills with a fiscal impact must pass out of the previously mentioned fiscal committees. As you might expect, and as this House calendar shows, these committees have been very busy this week.

House Rules Committee

Once bills pass out of policy and/or fiscal committees, it doesn't mean they go straight to the House floor. Most measures go to the House Rules Committee, where they sit until someone from that committee "pulls" them to the House floor. I sit on this committee. If a bill is pulled, it can move to the House floor for a full vote of 98 state representatives. It takes at least 50 votes to pass legislation.

Upcoming deadlines

Here are the upcoming deadlines for the Legislature:

  • March 11 – house of origin cutoff. All House and Senate bills must pass out of their respective chambers or they are generally considered "dead" for the year. The exception to this rule are bills "necessary to implement the budget."
  • April 1 – opposite house policy committee cutoff. As the House and Senate consider bills from the opposite chamber, all bills without a fiscal impact must pass out of their respective policy committees or they are generally considered "dead" for the year.
  • April 7 – opposite house fiscal committee cutoff. Bills from the opposite chamber with a fiscal impact must pass out of their respective fiscal committees.
  • April 15 – opposite house cutoff. All Senate bills in the House, and House bills in the Senate, must pass out of the opposite chamber. Again, the exception to this rule are bills "necessary to implement the budget."
  • April 26 – Last day of the legislative session.

"Dead or alive" bill list

At the policy committee cutoff each year, Washington House Republicans put together a "dead or alive" bill list. These are bills we think the public might be interested in learning more about. You can find the list in this blog post.

Tracking and commenting on bills

It's easy to track and comment on bills. If you go to this website, you can register for an account that allows you to customize bill-tracking lists.

If you want to share your views on bills, the process is even easier. All you have to do is go to this website, enter a bill number and click on the "Comment on this bill" icon. This will allow you to say if you support, oppose or are neutral on legislation, and provide you an opportunity to share your opinions. This information will be shared with your state lawmakers.

If there is a bill you are interested in and you see it on a committee agenda, please contact my office and I can explain how you can be involved in the legislative process.

Following House floor action 

You can find future calendars for both the House and Senate here. If you want to stay updated on what's happening on the House and Senate floors, you can find activity reports here.

Save the date: April 2

I will be hosting another telephone town hall meeting on Thursday, April 2, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. I will provide you the call-in number in future e-mail updates.

In your service,
Dan

State Representative Dan Kristiansen
39th Legislative District
335C Legislative Building - P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7967 or Toll-free: (800) 562-6000
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E-mail update: K-12 education spending | February 19, 2015

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

We all know how important education is to families and our state. A strong education system is the foundation for strong communities. My wife and I have raised three children and helped a fourth be adequately raised and educated, and I understand the task at hand. I believe parents and/or guardians are the primary educators of their children, and schools play a big part in helping parents with this monumental responsibility.

What does the state constitution say about education in this state?

The people who drafted our state constitution also understood the importance of education. Article IX, Section 1, says: "It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex." Article IX, Section 2, says: "The legislature shall provide for a general and uniform system of public schools."

The McCleary decision and the education debate

There has been a great debate the last few years about our state's role in funding its K-12 education system. Our state Supreme Court initiated this debate with its McCleary decision in 2012, which said the state (specifically, the Legislature) was not upholding its constitutional duty to adequately fund basic education. This timeline explains the McCleary decision and other aspects of K-12 education spending.

While the state Supreme Court, in its opinion, ruled our state does not spend enough on education, a question needs to be asked: Does the state Supreme Court, whose duty is to interpret the law, have the constitutional right to force the Legislature to act?

Many of you have contacted me to share your opinions on this issue. Some believe our state does not spend enough, some think we spend enough but not in the right ways, some think our state spends too much and should be more focused on other areas, and some would simply like more information. Regardless of where you are on this spectrum, I thought some facts might be helpful.

Operating budget | How are schools budgeted for?

Every other year, state lawmakers craft a two-year operating budget that takes effect on July 1 of that year. This budget pays for our state's K-12 public schools, human services, health care, higher education, debt service, corrections system, general government, natural resources, and other financial obligations. Here is a breakdown of the areas by percentages from the 2013-15 operating budget:

  • 45.2% | K-12 public schools
  • 17.1% | Department of Health and Social Services
  • 12.7% | Health Care Authority
  • 9.2% | Higher education
  • 5.5% | Debt service
  • 5% | Department of Corrections
  • 4.5% | All other (including legislative and judicial)
  • 0.8% | Natural resources

Source: Washington State Operating Budget Briefing Book (January 2015) -- page 17.

The 2013-15 operating budget dedicates $15.3 billion to K-12 education. By comparison, the 1999-2001 operating budget spent $9.4 billion on K-12 education, representing 43% of the total near general fund. Source: K-12 Finance Overview (January 2015) -- page 9.

Where do the taxes come from for the operating budget?

The best known tax is the sales and use tax that is added to the total of our purchases.  Almost every tangible item we buy is subject to the tax. One major exception is food.  The sales tax is one of the major sources of state revenue. Both of these taxes combined are forecasted to contribute around 52% of the money for the 2015-17 operating budget. Another familiar tax is the business and occupation tax (B&O), which will add about 20%. The state property tax will contribute approximately 11%, so every homeowner and property owner pays this tax. Source: Washington State Operating Budget Briefing Book (January 2015) -- page 8.

What laws established our state system of basic education?

Two major pieces of legislation established our state's current system of basic education: House Bill 2261 from 2009, and House Bill 2776 from 2010. This presentation (pages 15-17) explains what these measures established.

Our state allocates funding through pre-established school model formulas. From there, local school district board members decide how this funding is used.

The state has 295 school districts and educates 1,041,000 students (in 2000, this number was around 988,000). Our state has 62,480 certified instructional staff, 4,100 certified administrative staff and 37,273 classified staff. Source: K-12 Finance Overview (January 2015) -- page 4.

Where do school districts get their money?

When school district board members write their operating budgets, they rely on funding from four primary sources: the state (around 68%); local taxes, primarily maintenance and operation levies that are a tax against assessed property, (around 23%); the federal government (around 8%); and miscellaneous sources (around 1%). Source: K-12 Finance Overview (January 2015) -- page 6.  

In the 2014-15 school year, schools districts across our state will collectively receive $11.6 billion from these sources. In the 2000-01 school year, that number was $6.7 billion. Total school district operating revenue has increased 3.3% on average annually. Source: K-12 Finance Overview (January 2015) -- page 7. 

Per pupil spending

Another statistic you may have heard about is cost per pupil. For the 2014-15 school year, K-12 public schools' cost per pupil in our state is estimated to be $11,303. In the 2000-01 school year, cost per pupil was $7,041. School district operating costs are projected to increase by 6.9% per pupil in the 2014-15 school year. Source: K-12 Finance Overview (January 2015) -- page 8.

Does lottery revenue go toward education?

I am often asked, especially during telephone town hall meetings, where does lottery revenue go? For the 2013-15 budget cycle, the state is expected to generate $288.1 million in revenue from the lottery. Here is a breakdown of where that money will go:

Source: Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast (November 2014) -- page 75.

The revenue generated from the lottery is only a small portion of what is needed to pay for basic education in our state.

2015 legislative session

K-12 education spending will continue to be front and center throughout the 2015 legislative session. Will the current make-up of the Legislature increase K-12 education funding by finally prioritizing it in the budget process, or raise taxes?

My stance has been consistent: I believe we should fund education first, as is required by our state constitution, and that new tax increases should be the absolute last resort.

I will keep you updated throughout the legislative session as we continue working on the operating budget. As always, I welcome your feedback.

In your service,
Dan

State Representative Dan Kristiansen
39th Legislative District
335C Legislative Building - P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7967 or Toll-free: (800) 562-6000
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E-mail update: What are your thoughts on a new transportation tax package? | February 12, 2015

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

On the evening of February 3, Rep. Elizabeth Scott and I held a telephone town hall meeting. During the hour-long community conversation, we had the opportunity to ask participants two polls questions. You can find the questions and results below.

Because there were so many questions and discussions on various issues, we were not able to ask our third question about a proposed state gas tax increase that would be used to pay for new transportation projects. This is a timely issue and question, as the Senate plans to roll out a new transportation tax package for consideration.

I would like to extend these three poll questions to you in this survey, although they are worded a little differently. Question one may look familiar, but a new category has been added. I will leave this survey open through February 19.

I appreciate your time and feedback.

In your service,
Dan

What issue is most important to you?

21.9% | State spending
21.3% | Jobs/the economy
13.0% | K-12 education
13.0% | Health care
12.4% | Other
11.2% | Transportation
7.2% |  Environment

The governor is proposing a carbon tax on large employers like Boeing, and also on many large energy companies, to pay for transportation and education. Knowing this will most likely raise the price of certain goods and services as well as energy prices, would you support the governor’s plan?

59.9% | No
26.5% | Not sure. Need more information
13.6% | Yes

State Representative Dan Kristiansen
39th Legislative District
335C Legislative Building - P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7967 or Toll-free: (800) 562-6000
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E-mail update: House passes supplemental operating budget | February 6, 2015

Dear Friends and Neighbors:Week four of the 2015 legislative session is coming to a close. There was no House floor action this week, but House committees were very busy. Here is a snapshot of some of the bills and topics that were considered. As you will see, state lawmakers deal with an array of diverse issues.

Supplemental operating budget

There was House floor action last week. The House passed a supplemental operating budget on a bipartisan 83-15 vote January 29. This would be an adjustment to our state's 2013-15 spending plan, which ends June 30. The legislation would allocate funding for costs relating to natural disasters in our state last year, including the Oso landslide and wildfires. I talk about the importance of this appropriation in my recent video update.

The budget would also help pay for: new mental health treatment capacity; a homecare shared-living lawsuit; and children's services. It's not a perfect spending plan, but it's an important first step. The Senate will now have an opportunity to improve on the House's work.

Joel's Law

The first bill that passed out of the House this year, as promised by the Speaker of the House, was House Bill 1258. Also known as Joel's Law, the measure would allow family members to request court review under the state's Involuntary Treatment Act. This is an issue that spans mental health and public safety, and one that has personal meaning to my family. One of my new colleagues in the House, Rep. Tom Dent, spoke on the House floor and shared an emotional story about how this legislation would impact him as a father. You can watch his remarks here.

Two students from Monroe serve as House pages

It was my honor to host two local students as House pages last week: McKenna Dahlinger (pictured left) and Morgan Sedlak (pictured right). Morgan and McKenna are students at the Sky Valley Education Center in Monroe. To learn more about these students and their experiences in Olympia, please read this news releaseMcKenna Dahlinger, Morgan Sedlak and Rep. Dan Kristiansen

The House Page Program is a tremendous opportunity for students to learn about the Legislature and state government. You can learn more about the program here.Telephone town hall roundup

A special thanks to all who participated in my telephone town hall meeting Tuesday evening. A total of 3,629 people jumped on the call at some point during the hour-long event. Rep. Elizabeth Scott and I were able to answer 13 questions, ask two poll questions and share our perspective on the first three weeks of the legislative session. Our next community conversation is scheduled for April 2. I will send you a reminder next month.

In your service,
Dan

State Representative Dan Kristiansen
39th Legislative District
335C Legislative Building - P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7967 or Toll-free: (800) 562-6000
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E-mail update: Telephone town hall this evening from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. | February 3, 2015

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

One last reminder that I will be hosting a telephone town hall meeting for the 39th District this evening (Tuesday, February 3) from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. with Rep. Elizabeth Scott. The community conversation, which is similar to a call-in radio show, will provide you an opportunity to ask us questions by pressing * (star) on your telephone keypad. Or, you are welcome to just listen in and hear our perspectives on the 2015 legislative session.

To participate, please call (360) 350-6256 beginning at 6:00 p.m. We hope you can join us!

Please let me know if you have any questions. My contact information is below.

In your service,
Dan

State Representative Dan Kristiansen
39th Legislative District
335C Legislative Building - P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7967 or Toll-free: (800) 562-6000
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