E-mail update: Survey results | January 30, 2015

 

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

 

There are countless examples of Washingtonians promoting ideas in our citizen Legislature. I'd like to share one local example. Christian Arciniega (pictured), a constituent of mine, believes institutions of higher education should be required to makeRep. Dan Kristiansen and Christian Arciniega an early registration process available to spouses and domestic partners of active members of the military. She presented this idea to some state lawmakers, Rep. Dave Hayes offered to prime sponsor the bill, and it now has bipartisan support. House Bill 1052 was heard in the House Higher Education Committee on Wednesday. You can watch Christian's testimony here. She did a great job! This is a great example of how you can not only be involved in, but influence, the legislative process.

 

Survey results  
In my last e-mail update, I provided a survey that asked you about your legislative priorities. I really appreciate the great response. You can find the results below. I'm going to leave this survey open through February 4. Please consider sharing your views if you haven't already.

 

Do you believe the Legislature should raise taxes for the next operating budget?
  • 5.67% | Yes, ...
  • 86.79% | No, ....
  • 3.77% | I'm open to the idea of certain new tax increases.
  • 3.77% | I'm not sure.

What are your legislative priorities? (This question asked you to rank issues 1-8. Listed below are issues ranked in overall importance by those who responded, with one being most important.)

  1. State spending/operating budget.
  2. Jobs and the economy.
  3. Taxes.
  4. State government reform.
  5. K-12 education.
  6. Transportation infrastructure.
  7. Health care.
  8. Higher education.
Would you support a new road usage charge for motorists? 
  • 9.09% | Yes.
  • 58.18% | No.
  • 32.73% | I'm not sure and I would need to learn more about it.
Media availability event
I participated in a media availability event this week with the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus. Some of the topics included: the governor's carbon tax proposal; a transportation tax package; the Seattle tunnel project; collective bargaining agreements; and the operating budget. You can watch the event here. As always, I welcome your feedback.

 

Telephone town hall reminder 
I will be hosting a telephone town hall with Rep. Elizabeth Scott on Tuesday evening (February 3). The community conversation will begin at 6:00 p.m. To join in and ask us questions, please call (360) 350-6256.

 

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 legislative priorities? | January 23, 2015

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

In my first e-mail update this year, I shared with you what I believe will be the major issues this legislative session. I would like to know what your legislative priorities are this year. Please consider taking the time to share your views in this short survey.

Did you know? 

Did you know because of I-502 (marijuana), which passed in 2012, local marijuana grow operations are now located near neighborhoods and areas where children are present?

Some of you have contacted me with your concerns about this issue. I discussed it at the Associated Press Legislative Preview on January 8. The media has taken an interest in the story. While I wasn't quoted in this KING 5 story, I did talk to Susannah Frame and shared some of my concerns. I think she did a nice job reporting on the problems we are seeing at the local level.

These problems underscore the importance of decisions made by both local and state governments. It is also clear the Legislature needs to change or clarify certain laws pertaining to the marijuana initiative, and I expect some reforms to move forward this year.

Two videos from this week

I taped my first video update of 2015 this week. In this video, I discuss the governor's operating budget proposal and whether or not our state needs to raise taxes. You can watch it here. Please let me know if you have any feedback.

I also participated in a news conference with leaders of the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus on Tuesday. You can watch the event here.

74 + 73 = 147 

There are 147 state lawmakers in the Legislature -- 74 Democrats and 73 Republicans. These close numbers mean the Legislature must work closely together. Despite what you might hear, Olympia is not Washington, D.C. Members of the Legislature work closely together and rely on their constituents for input. Here are ten ways you can be involved in the legislative process.

Telephone town hall meeting | Tuesday, February 3  

Just a reminder that I will be hosting a telephone town hall meeting with Rep. Elizabeth Scott on Tuesday, February 3. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m. and last an hour. To join the community conversation, please call (360) 350-6256.

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: The 105-day legislative session is underway | January 16, 2015

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

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

With the bang of the gavel in the House chambers on Monday, the 105-day legislative session officially began. All 147 state lawmakers in the Legislature were sworn in on this day. While this is my seventh term as state representative, I can tell you that the excitement of the first day never lessens. It is an honor and privilege to serve and I will never lose sight of that fact. You can watch my House floor speech from Monday here.

On Tuesday, the governor gave his annual state of the state address to the Legislature. He outlined his vision for the state, including $1.5 billion in new tax increases and an operating budget proposal that would increase state spending by 15 percent. Please keep in mind our state will have nearly $3 billion more in tax collections -- a more than 8 percent increase -- the next two-year budget cycle. The governor laid out some big ideas, and I appreciate that, but he's already found resistance and disappointment from state lawmakers in his own party.

One of my colleagues, Rep. Norma Smith from the 10th District (Island County and parts of Skagit and Snohomish counties), provided the Republican response to the governor's state of the state address. Following both speeches, I led a news conference with other state lawmakers to discuss the legislative session. I outlined some of the contrasting solutions that I will support this year. I also discussed many of these ideas at the Associated Press Legislative Preview Leadership Panel on January 8.

If you have the time to look at any of the links in this e-mail update, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

I'll be back in touch with you again soon. Please contact me if I can ever be of assistance or if you plan to visit the Capitol.

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: The 2015 legislative session | January 9, 2015

Rep. Dan Kristiansen Dan Kristiansen Home    |   About Dan    |    Dan's Newsroom    |    Sponsored Bills    |    39th District Map
Dear Friends and Neighbors:
Due to election-year restrictions, this is my first e-mail update since April 8. I hope you had a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. I spent the holidays with my family. We had a busy 2014, so it was nice to have everyone in one place a few days.
A lot has happened in the last nine months. In late November, my House Republican colleagues again elected me as their leader. It is an honor to lead such a talented and compassionate group that now includes 47 members (up from 43 members in 2013-14). There are 98 members in the state House of Representatives, which means the Democrats have 51 members. I’ve been asked recently, “What will the close margin in the state House mean for Washingtonians?” I think it will mean more bipartisanship and a new set of solutions being considered.
The 105-day legislative session begins on Monday, January 12. I’ve spent the last two months talking to constituents, meeting with groups, and discussing legislative priorities and potential legislation with my House colleagues. All signs point to four major issues dominating the 2015 legislative session:
  1. What will be done to ease the burdens on working families and improve the economy?
  2. Will state lawmakers finally prioritize K-12 education in the operating budget, or resort to raising taxes to satisfy the state Supreme Court’s McCleary expectations?
  3. Will there be a transportation package to address infrastructure needs and, if so, how will it be funded? Many Republicans have indicated they would consider it if there are meaningful reforms to the state’s transportation system first. Many Democrats have not expressed interest in these reforms.
  4. Will Gov. Inslee’s controversial environmental agenda – including a new fuel mandate and a cap-and-trade system – complicate negotiations for the operating budget and transportation package, and threaten energy prices for families and employers? You can find what the governor is proposing here.

Time will tell what the answers are to these questions. I will be sharing my views on these issues, and others, in future e-mail updates.

Commenting on bills
There are many ways you can be involved with the legislative process. One way is visiting the Capitol. Please contact me if you are ever going to be in Olympia. If you don’t have time to come to Olympia, you can comment on proposed bills. All you have to do is go to this website, enter a bill number and click on “Comment on this bill.” It’s that simple.
Telephone town hall meeting | Tuesday, February 3  
Rep. Elizabeth Scott and I will be hosting a telephone town hall on Tuesday, February 3, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The event allows you to call in, listen to a community conversation and ask us questions if you’d like. The phone number is (360) 350-6256. We hope to hear from you!
Staying connected
We all lead busy lives. It can be hard to follow what’s happening in Olympia. I want to make it easier for you to stay connected to the Legislature and state government. I created this handy Get Connected guide to local and state government. Please feel free to print it out and share it with others.
Helpful links
Here are some helpful links you can access through your computer, smart phone or tablet:
  • The Capitol Buzz | A weekday round-up of online news stories. Click on the link to subscribe.
  • The Current | An online legislative publication from the Washington House Republicans. Click on the link to subscribe.
  • My legislative website | Please consider bookmarking my legislative website at: www.representativedankristiansen.com. Here you will find my contact information, bio, news releases, e-mail updates, videos, opinion pieces, bills and other information.
  • My photo gallery | You can find photos of me on my Flickr account.
  • TVW | The state’s own version of C-SPAN, TVW broadcasts floor and committee action live online.
  • Legislature’s website | You can find bill reports, committee agendas and information about upcoming activities in the Legislature here.
  • Capitol Campus activities and events | Find a calendar of events here.
  • Legislative Hotline | 1-800-562-6000.
  • State agencies | You can find a list of all state agencies, boards and commissions here.

E-mail updates

This e-mail update is meant to provide you with succinct, timely and hopefully interesting information. If you know of anyone else who would like to receive this communication, they can do so at the top of my legislative website. Please also know you can unsubscribe to my e-mail updates at any time by going to the bottom of the page of each update that I send out. It’s good to be back in touch with you.
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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04-08-14: E-mail update from Rep. Dan Kristiansen – How you can help in the aftermath of the Oso mudslide

Rep. Dan Kristiansen

Dan Kristiansen Home    |   About Dan    |    Dan's Newsroom    |    Sponsored Bills    |    39th Legislative District Map

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Our communities continue to respond and cope in the aftermath of the Oso mudslide. The collective strength and courage of the people involved is pushing back on the devastation and sadness. The best of our communities is on display in our greatest time of need. There are so many individuals and groups to acknowledge and thank, but it begins with the first responders and local citizens who continue to work tirelessly on recovery efforts. So many people have played roles – small and large. It is truly inspiring.

I haven’t taken to the podium in the news conferences I have participated in, or sought to be be a part of the stories that have appeared in our news outlets. Rather, I’m just trying to do all I can behind the scenes to help. Since March 22, I have participated in briefings with the governor and other officials, attended community meetings in Darrington and Arlington, assisted with coordination of some charitable endeavors, listened and responded to those who are working on the recovery, and helped with logistics for various things. I have also spent time at the slide site with local citizens and search-and-rescue teams. Like everyone else, I wish I could do more.   

How you can help

Many of you have contacted me expressing your concern and desire to help. I really appreciate it. There are many outstanding charitable and fundraising causes. Perhaps you are directly involved with some of these causes. The Everett Herald lists many of them here. I join our Secretary of State in reminding people there are scam artists out there who are willing to take advantage of our generosity. Please be careful if you decide to help financially. Below are a few efforts that I would like to highlight: 

  • American Red Cross - Snohomish County
  • United Way of Snohomish County
  • Coastal Community Bank is accepting donations for slide victims at all branches: Darrington, Camano Island, Everett, Monroe, Stanwood, Sultan, Silver Lake, Smokey Point, Snohomish and Whidbey Island. You can find more information here.
  • Glad Tidings Assembly of God and Pastor Les Hagan have set up an account specifically for Darrington residents’ relief. All of the funds donated will be used to assist residents affected by this tragedy. The church address is: P.O. Box 429, Darrington, WA 98241. The church phone number is (360) 436-1911. His e-mail is: les.hagen@frontier.com

Staying updated

A good resource to stay updated on recovery and relief efforts continues to be this Snohomish County website. Snohomish County has also created a Facebook page to help coordinate and organize various relief efforts. For those of you who use Twitter, some of the related hash tags are #530slide, #helposo and #OsoStrong.

Sorting out the facts

There have been news stories that discuss logging, actions of government and the response with respect to the Oso mudslide. I understand the media has a job to do and there are important questions that need to be answered. It is critical that we sort out all of the facts to determine what, if anything, could have been done to prevent and respond to this tragic event. There might be new public policy proposals that emerge based on these facts. I look forward to being a part of that process and hope you will be a part of it, too. But for right now, I remain focused on the on the recovery efforts and helping those impacted the most.

Save the date: May 15

Rep. Elizabeth Scott and I will be hosting our final telephone town hall meeting of 2014 on Thursday, May 15, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. To listen in on this community conversation, all you have to do is dial 1-800-759-5313. From there, you can ask us questions or share your ideas if you’d like.

Your state representative year-round

Due to election-year restrictions, this is the last e-mail update I can send you until Dec. 1. I appreciate you reading these updates and being involved in the legislative process. While the legislative session is over, I am your state representative year-round. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can ever be of assistance.

In your service,

Dan Kristiansen
State Representative
39th Legislative District

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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03-24-14: E-mail update from Rep. Dan Kristiansen – Oso mudslide

Rep. Dan Kristiansen

Dan Kristiansen Home    |   About Dan    |    Dan's Newsroom    |    Sponsored Bills    |    39th Legislative District Map

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Devastation and tragedy have found and impacted our local communities of Oso, Darrington and Arlington. The recent Oso mudslide is a reminder of how we are sometimes powerless to the unpredictable forces of nature.

I spent most of yesterday in these communities – meeting with citizens and officials, and listening to their stories. Words cannot describe what I witnessed and heard. This photo gallery only begins to tell the story.

In all of my meetings and discussions with federal, state and local officials, I believe all assets are being deployed and considered for rescue and recovery efforts. We know that people are missing and we are doing everything we can to find them. If you think a loved one might be missing as a result of this event, please call this phone number: (425) 388-5088.

By now, you probably know there is an emergency closure in both directions of State Route 530 between Oso Loop Road and Little French Creek. The situation is still precarious for WSDOT and it could be a while before maintenance crews can begin cleanup efforts. You can find updates on the transportation-related aspects of the response here.

If you want to stay updated on this issue, this website may be your best resource. If you use Twitter, #530slide is the hashtag people are using. Snohomish County also has a Facebook page it is using as a conduit of information.

We all know these types of situations bring out the best in our communities. What I have experienced so far only confirms this belief. We are on the very front end of this tragedy and it is going to take a long time to sort out the facts and begin healing. Please keep the victims and families of the Oso, Darrington and Arlington communities in your thoughts and prayers.  

In your service,

Dan Kristiansen
State Representative
39th Legislative District

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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03-17-14: E-mail update from Rep. Dan Kristiansen – The end of the 2014 legislative session

Rep. Dan Kristiansen

Dan Kristiansen Home    |   About Dan    |    Dan's Newsroom    |    Sponsored Bills    |    39th Legislative District Map

Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The Washington State House of Representatives adjourns Sine Die, March 13th (60th day of the 60-Day 2014 Regular Session).

The 60-day, 2014 legislative session ended just before midnight on Thursday night. For the first time since 2009, state lawmakers are not facing a special session. If everything goes according to plan, the Legislature will not convene again until January 12, 2015.

While the legislative session is over, please remember I’m your state representative year-round. I’m here to answer your questions, listen to your ideas and help you navigate problems with state government.

Whether you respond to these e-mail updates or simply take time out of your busy day to read them, I appreciate your feedback and interest. We truly have a citizen Legislature here in Washington and your involvement in the legislative process embodies this notion. 

Below you will find some final summaries on important issues from the legislative session. For those of you who like to dig a little deeper, here is a preliminary summary of all legislation that passed this year.

In your service,

Dan Kristiansen
State Representative
39th Legislative District 

Video update: Supplemental operating, transportation and capital budgets

Our state has three primary budgets – the operating, transportation and capital budgets. In odd-numbered years, such as 2013, these two-year budgets are crafted, passed and go into effect on July 1 of that year. In even-numbered years, such as 2014, mid-course adjustments are made to these budgets. I talk about the supplemental budget process in this recent video update.

Audio update: A look back on the 2014 legislative session

I sat down with our broadcast coordinator to discuss the highlights and disappointments of the 2014 legislative session, and to look ahead to 2015. You can find the short interview here.

Supplemental operating budget

As I mentioned in my last e-mail update, the 2013-15 operating budget, which passed at the end of last June, appropriated $33.5 billion. This budget pays for state priorities such as K-12 education, higher education, health and human services, corrections, debt service, and other areas of state government. Since last June, forecasted revenue has increased and fiscal year 2013 reversions were higher than expected. This increased the fund balance for the Near General Fund-State (NGF-S) and Opportunity Pathway accounts by $441 million. In other words, primarily due to an improving economy, state lawmakers had a little more money to work with in the middle of the two-year budget cycle. 

The 2014 supplemental operating budget passed on the last day of the legislative session on a 85-13 vote. I voted for it. It increases spending by about $155 million in the NGF-S and Opportunity Pathways accounts, resulting in total appropriations of about $33.7 billion for 2013-15. The supplement operating budget leaves more than $300 million in the ending fund balance of the NGF-S and Opportunity Pathways accounts.

Of the aforementioned $155 million, $89 million is for maintenance level adjustments and $66 million is for policy adjustments. Here is a breakdown in these investments: public education K-12 ($64 million); higher education ($35 million); long-term care, mental health and developmental disabilities ($26 million); and other state programs ($30 million).

This budget is not perfect, but it represents compromise and is better than the first version that passed out of the House (I voted against this proposal). In House floor debate, there were good arguments for and against the budget. You can find that debate here.

Supplemental capital budget

The 2013-15 capital budget appropriated $3.6 billion, including general obligation (GO) bonds, cash and other funds. The capital budget, also known as the construction and bricks-and-mortar budget, provides funding for the construction and repair of public buildings and other long-term investments such as recreation infrastructure and environmental cleanup. It also authorizes the expenditure of federal funds and provides or lends money to local governments or nonprofit organizations for infrastructure, housing and facilities.

The House supplemental capital budget, which I voted for, would have made $72.9 million in new, net GO bond appropriations. These investments would have included our higher education system, the Department of Corrections, flood relief projects, our mental health system, and storm water and water quality grants.

The Senate decided to pursue a much different path to its supplemental capital budget. When it was all said and done, the differences between the House and Senate proposals were just too significant. The end result was the Legislature not passing a supplemental capital budget. This outcome is rare, but not unprecedented and happened in 1996. While this was disappointing, state lawmakers will re-group and come together next year to make important investments across our state.

Other bills of interest

K-12 education

  • Senate Bill 6552 will redirect a $97 million appropriation for increased instructional hours to support implementation of a new 24-credit graduation requirement. This will be distributed to districts through an increase in materials, supplies and operation costs (MSOC) funding and a reduced class-size allocation for laboratory science in grades 9-12. I voted for this legislation. It passed the House 93-5 and the Senate 45-2. Expected to be signed into law by the governor.
  • House Bill 2797 would have allowed for $700 million in bonds, backed by state Lottery revenue, for grants to school districts to construct classrooms for full-day kindergarten and K-3 class-size reduction. School districts would not be required to pass a local levy to match the construction funding. I supported this legislation. It passed the House 90-7, but died in the Senate.
  • No “No Child Left Behind” waiver. Due to tremendous pressure from one influential special interest group, a bill that would have simply made a minor adjustment to our state’s teacher and principal evaluation system was stopped. I supported this legislation. Its failure will likely result in the loss of $38 million in federal funding that would have helped some of our most disadvantaged students. They will likely lose the teachers and programs that support them. This outcome is unfortunate and unacceptable.

Jobs and economy

  • House Bill 2192 will promote economic development through enhancing transparency and predictability of state agency permitting and review processes. I supported this legislation. It passed the House 96-0 and the Senate 48-0. Expected to be signed into law by the governor.
  • House Bill 2672 would have increased the statewide minimum wage to $12 per hour over three years. I opposed this legislation. It passed the House Labor and Workforce Development Committee, but died in the House Appropriations Committee.

Taxes

  • House Bill 2795 would have imposed a 75 percent “other tobacco products” (OTP) tax on “tobacco substitutes,” and included e-cigarettes in the definition. It would have also imposed a requirement to purchase a license and be subject to Liquor Board oversight. Several people came to Olympia to share their stories about how e-cigarettes are a healthier alternative to smoking. I opposed this legislation. It passed the House Finance Committee, but never moved to the House floor.
  • House Bill 2309 will establish taxpayer-friendly reforms to the laws regarding county treasurer authorities in order to increase flexibility for payments of property taxes, and allow waivers of certain penalties. I heard from constituents who wanted this legislation and I supported it. It passed the House 97-0 and the Senate 44-5. Expected to be signed into law by the governor.

Transportation

  • House Bill 2094 would transfer the sales tax paid on transportation projects into the motor vehicle account rather than the general fund. This measure would allow more state gas tax dollars to be used for critical transportation infrastructure needs. I supported this legislation. It never received a hearing in the House Appropriations Committee.

Military and veterans

  • House Bill 2363 will allow spouses and children of military service members who are eligible for developmental disability services to retain that eligibility while living out of state due to military assignment as long as they remain residents of the state. I supported this legislation. It passed the House 95-0 and the Senate 49-0. Expected to be signed into law by the governor.

Public safety

  • House Bill 2506 would have increased the penalty for a DUI from a class C felony to a class B felony, resulting in offenders with more previous felony convictions who could be sentenced to community supervision after they were released from prison. I supported this legislation. It received a hearing in the House Public Safety Committee, but did not move forward.

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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03-07-14: E-mail update from Rep. Dan Kristiansen – Three supplemental state budgets

Rep. Dan Kristiansen

Dan Kristiansen Home    |   About Dan    |    Dan's Newsroom    |    Sponsored Bills    |    39th Legislative District Map

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Only seven days remain in the 2014 legislative session. The state House of Representatives passed three supplemental state budgets this week – the operating, capital and transportation budgets. These proposals are now being negotiated with the state Senate and final budgets will be voted on next week. I’d like to provide you some information on the House versions of these budgets – including how I voted. 

Supplemental operating budget

The 2013-15 operating budget, which passed at the end of last June, appropriated $33.5 billion for priorities such as K-12 education, higher education, health and human services, corrections, debt service, and other areas of state government. Since then, forecasted revenue has increased and fiscal year 2013 reversions were higher than expected. This increased the fund balance for the Near General Fund-State and Opportunity Pathway accounts by $441 million. State revenue sources include: retail sales tax; business and occupation tax; property tax; real estate excise tax; and several other taxes, fees, federal revenues, transfers, etc.

The House supplemental operating budget, a striking amendment to Senate Bill 6002, would increase spending by $246 million during the two-year budget cycle – resulting in total spending of about $33.8 billion. Of the $246 million increase, about $91 million is due to maintenance level changes and a net of $155 million is due to policy changes.

In addition to this base budget, the majority party in the House also proposed a tax-increase package of around $100 million. They target extracted fuel, bottled water, prescription drugs and the non-resident sales tax exemption. Their original plan was to use this revenue to restore teacher COLAs and spend more money on early learning. We will have to see how this plays out in the next week. 

I voted against the House supplemental operating budget. It’s by no means a bad budget, but the bipartisan Senate supplemental operating budget – which passed 41-8 – more closely aligns with my budget priorities of education, public safety and taking care of those who can’t take care of themselves through no fault of their own. We took a major step forward in K-12 education funding last year, and we will need to take another important step forward next year. This year, we should just make minor, mid-course adjustments to our operating budget. I’m hoping I can vote for the negotiated, final supplemental operating budget next week.
 
Supplemental capital budget

The 2013-15 capital budget appropriated $3.6 billion, including general obligation (GO) bonds, cash and other funds. The capital budget, also known as the construction and bricks-and-mortar budget, provides funding for the construction and repair of public buildings and other long-term investments such as recreation infrastructure and environmental cleanup. It also authorizes the expenditure of federal funds and provides or lends money to local governments or nonprofit organizations for infrastructure, housing and facilities. To learn about 39th District projects, please go to this website, click on “Map Projects,” select “Legislative District,” and scroll down to “039.”

The House supplemental capital budget, a striking amendment to Senate Bill 6020, would make $72.9 million in new, net GO bond appropriations – leaving approximately $25 million in unused bond capacity. Total funds appropriated (GO bonds, cash and other funds) would be increased by $166.5 million.

I voted for the House supplemental capital budget because it would make important investments in higher education, the Department of Corrections, flood relief, mental health, and storm water and water quality grants. It also would not appropriate money for new state land acquisitions. 

Supplemental transportation budget

The 2013-15 transportation budget appropriated $8.7 billion from state, federal and other sources for capital projects and operating programs. The revenue comes from each of us as we pay fuel taxes (18.4 cents federal, 37.5 cents state), license fees, federal taxes, permit and other fees, tolls, ferry fares, vehicle sales tax, rental car taxes, and other miscellaneous sources.

The House supplemental transportation budget, House Bill 2762, would add $338 million in spending. There would be $268 million from reappropriations, $46.4 million from increased revenues and a $102.3 million reduction in expected debt service payments.

I voted against the House supplemental transportation budget primarily because it would raise the state funding level of $2.7 billion on the State Route 520 Bridge replacement to cover the WSDOT’s mistakes. Around $172 million in additional funds would be added on top of the $250 million risk reserve in the project. By now, you’ve probably heard of all the problems associated with this megaproject – including cost overruns, pontoon design failure and tolling delays. All of these failures were preventable and are unacceptable. We need more accountability at the WSDOT – and it starts at the top with our governor. The bottom line is the extra costs of megaprojects shouldn’t fall on taxpayers.

I hope you have a nice weekend. I’ll be in touch next week as the legislative session comes to a close.

In your service,

Dan Kristiansen
State Representative
39th Legislative District 

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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02-28-14: E-mail update from Rep. Dan Kristiansen — Highlights from week seven of the legislative session

Rep. Dan Kristiansen

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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Week seven of the 2014 legislative session will continue into tomorrow with the House Appropriations Committee meeting to take action on bills. This committee work will set the state House of Representatives up for a busy week eight – including action on the supplemental operating, capital and transportation budgets. Next week will include a lot of House floor action as state lawmakers look to get all of their work done by March 13. You can find the House schedule for next week here.  

Supplemental operating budget proposals

A lot has happened this week that I wanted to share with you. On Wednesday, House Democrats rolled out their supplemental operating budget. Summaries can be found here (official document from the nonpartisan Office of Program Research) and here (through the lens of House Democrats). On whole, I have some concerns with the proposal. However, once reconciled with the bipartisan Senate supplemental operating budget, I’m hoping the Legislature can arrive at a compromise that builds on the hard work of last year and properly funds the priorities of state government. A lot of work remains to be done. You can find a detailed account of the bipartisan Senate budget, which passed 41-8 yesterday, here. For a summary, click here.

One of the concerns I have with the House Democrats’ approach is they are proposing $100 million in new tax increases. I simply don’t support this idea. While the revenue from these new tax increases would be dedicated to K-12 education, they are not needed. If K-12 education is the top funding priority for our state, which I believe it is, then we should prioritize it and not tie it to a potentially unstable funding source that could be repealed. Our schools, teachers and students deserve a more prioritized, sustainable and transparent approach.   

Please also remember that state lawmakers prioritized K-12 education in the 2013-15 operating budget through a collaborative, bipartisan process that I was directly involved in last year. The Legislature took a big step forward for education last year, and I expect it will take another big step forward for our schools next year. But in a supplemental year like 2014, we only need to make minor, midcourse adjustments to our operating budget. Fortunately, many state lawmakers understand and agree with this position. 

A bipartisan plan to fund full-day kindergarten, K-3 class-size reduction

A bipartisan plan emerged on Wednesday that would allow for $700 million in bonds, backed by state Lottery revenue, for grants to school districts to construct classrooms for K-3 class-size reduction and full-day kindergarten. The grants would be based on need and administered by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Perhaps most importantly, school districts would not be required to pass a local levy to match the funding. In addition to helping our state move closer to its state Supreme Court McCleary obligations, House Bill 2797 would also create jobs. The measure passed out of the House Capital Budget Committee and now awaits House floor action. You can watch the news conference on the plan here

Video update: Addressing Obamacare/federal health care reform problems 

By now, you’ve probably heard of some of the problems with Obamacare/federal health care reforms in our state. For example, cancellation notices, website glitches, unanswered calls at the Exchange, and individuals and families losing network coverage – including Seattle Children's Hospital. These problems represent broken promises and Washingtonians deserve better. I talk about some of these problems and proposed solutions in my recent video update. You can find it here.

The homestretch of the legislative session

Only 13 days remain in the legislative session. I will keep you updated on the major issues as they develop and votes are taken. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, comments or concerns.

Have a nice weekend.

In your service,

Dan Kristiansen
State Representative
39th Legislative District

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

houserepublicans.wa.gov Capitol Buzz News Clips Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube Delicious 

02-21-14: E-mail update from Rep. Dan Kristiansen — Two-thirds of the way through the legislative session

Rep. Dan Kristiansen

Dan Kristiansen Home    |   About Dan    |    Dan's Newsroom    |    Sponsored Bills    |    39th Legislative District Map

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

It’s hard to believe we are already two-thirds of the way through the legislative session. Tuesday was house of origin cutoff, meaning bills needed to pass out of the House or Senate or they are considered “dead.” A complete list of bills that have passed both chambers can be found here. We also continue to update this shorter “dead or alive” list that breaks certain legislation down by House committees. For more information on individual bills, please visit this website, enter the four-digit bill number and click on “Search.” From there, you can comment on measures by clicking on, “Comment on this bill.”

Like the last half of this week, next week will include a lot of committee hearings in the House and Senate. You can find the House schedule here. Please know you are welcome to come to Olympia to testify on a bill or just listen in on committee hearings.

A constituent contacted me recently about a measure in the Senate that she opposed. I encouraged her to come testify on the legislation and share why it would hurt her small business. She came to the Capitol and testified against the bill. Her input provided me a different perspective on the issue and I appreciate it. This is a great example of how easy it is to get involved in your citizen Legislature.

Capitol Report Podcast 

Every two weeks, I participate in a Capitol Report Podcast to discuss current legislative issues. In my most recent podcast, I talked about deadlines in the Legislature, the transportation tax package, health care, and how the public can get involved. You can listen to it here.  

TVW interview 

I sat down with Anita Kissée, host of TVW’s The Impact, and House Democratic Majority Leader Pat Sullivan on Tuesday to talk about the legislative session. We discussed various issues, including cutoff, K-12 education funding, a transportation tax package and minimum wage. To watch the interview, please click here.

Profile piece in The Seattle Times

I’m not sure how many of you subscribe to The Seattle Times. If you do, you may have seen the profile piece they had on me on February 17. If not, you can find it here. I enjoyed talking to the reporter, but the photo shoot was a little awkward for me. Let’s just say modeling is not in my future. 
Representative Kristiansen with Page Jake LaSalle
Help around the House

One of my favorite parts of being a state representative is hosting House pages. I had an opportunity to sponsor Jake LaSalle (pictured right) as a House page during the third week of the legislative session. Jake is from Sedro-Woolley and attends Cascade Middle School. Learn more about his experience at the Legislature here.

Legislative pages play an important role in the efficient operation of the Legislature, including delivering messages and documents to state lawmakers in their offices, committee meetings and the House and Senate chambers. To learn more about the House Page Program, click here or feel free to contact me.

I hope you have a restful weekend. 

In your service,

Dan Kristiansen
State Representative
39th Legislative District

State Representative Dan Kristiansen
39th Legislative District

Web site: www.representativedankristiansen.com

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

houserepublicans.wa.gov Capitol Buzz News Clips Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube Delicious