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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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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