News

2014 Legislative Report to the 38th District

April 17, 2014

Reps. Mike Sells and June Robinson, and Sen. John McCoy

2014 Legislative Report to the 38th District

We finished our business on time this year, adjourning just before midnight on the 60th day. The most-publicized matter before us was finding a compromise on the supplemental operating budget. We reached agreement on a modest no-new-taxes budget that protects our safety net and makes some significant investments, such as: • Funding to make services available for 5,000 more people with developmental disabilities. • $11.7 million in additional funding for desperately needed mental health services. • $58 million in extra … Continue reading

Rep. Sells’ Legislative Update for January 31, 2014

January 31, 2014

Rep. Mike Sells

Rep. Sells’ Legislative Update for January 31, 2014

This busy third week of session ended on a particularly high note – we honored the men and women of Washington’s National Guard in both the House and Senate Friday. It’s a very moving experience to meet some of the Guard’s citizen-soldiers and airmen who do so much for our state. Did you know? With approximately 640,000 veteran residents, Washington state has the 12th largest veteran population in the United States.  When combined with the over 62,000 active duty military … Continue reading

Listen to the 38th District Telephone Town Hall

January 25, 2014

Reps. Mike Sells and June Robinson, and Sen. John McCoy

Listen to the 38th District Telephone Town Hall

Reps. Mike Sells and June Robinson, and Sen. John McCoy held a telephone town hall on the evening of January 21, 2014. If you missed it, you can listen to the entire audio file here.

Rep. Sells’ Legislative Update for January 24, 2014

January 24, 2014

Rep. Mike Sells

We are into week two of our nine week session. As such, time to hear bills and get them moved through committee is very limited. In the Labor and Workforce Development Committee, which I chair, we have had a number of bills dealing with wage theft and the underground economy, as well as issues dealing with electrical industrial regulations. There are many more bills to hear on minimum wage, prevailing wage and workplace safety. Quality counts with early learning Washington … Continue reading

38th District lawmakers hosting Telephone Town Hall

January 16, 2014

Rep. Mike Sells, Rep, June Robinson

38th District lawmakers hosting Telephone Town Hall

SNOHOMISH COUNTY & OLYMPIA – Citizens of Everett, Marysville, and Tulalip are enthusiastically encouraged to join state Sen. John McCoy, state Rep. Mike Sells, and state Rep. June Robinson in a Telephone Town Hall early Tuesday evening, Jan. 21, from 6 to 7. Shortly before 6 o’clock that night, thousands of 38th Legislative District citizens will receive telephone calls inviting them to stay on the line to participate in the Telephone Town Hall. Folks who want to ask a question, … Continue reading

Reps. McCoy & Sells’ Legislative Update for June 20, 2013

June 20, 2013

Reps. John McCoy and Mike Sells

Reps. McCoy & Sells’ Legislative Update for June 20, 2013

Economic & Revenue Forecast State budget writers are inching closer to an agreement that will hopefully be presented to legislators for approval next week.  Time is of the essence – the fiscal year ends June 30. We are fighting for a budget that takes a good step toward funding education without rigging the system against seniors, kids, and people with disabilities. The negotiators received two shots of good news this week: The Economic and Revenue Forecast Council reported they expect … Continue reading

Reps. McCoy & Sells – Legislative Update on Special Session 2

June 13, 2013

Reps. John McCoy and Mike Sells

Reps. McCoy & Sells – Legislative Update on Special Session 2

We are back at work in Olympia today. It was certainly not our plan to still be here but, unfortunately, our education budget is still not approved. Governor Inslee made it pretty clear in his remarks this week why we’re at this impasse; both sides need to be willing to compromise and to focus on one goal: agreeing on a budget that meets our constitutional obligation to fund our kids’ education. We encourage you to click on the image to watch … Continue reading

Rep. Mike Sells – Legislative Update for May 20, 2013

May 20, 2013

Rep. Mike Sells

Rep. Mike Sells – Legislative Update for May 20, 2013

Budget negotiations are continuing in Olympia this week. Most legislators are back at home, however, resuming their jobs and a normal family life. Once budget writers reach agreement on most outstanding issues, lawmakers will return to finish work on the 2013-15 operating budget, capital budget, transportation budget and any other issues that can’t wait until next January.   Budget negotiations: Do we spend our money for educating our kids or tax exemptions? That’s one of the choices lawmakers are discussing … Continue reading

Reps. Mike Sells and Hans Dunshee op-ed in the Everett Herald

May 11, 2013

Reps. Mike Sells & Hans Dunshee

Reps. Mike Sells and Hans Dunshee op-ed in the Everett Herald

Funding education: Closing tax loopholes is not increasing taxes Corporate tax breaks or your children’s and grandchildren’s future. The ability to grow jobs and compete economically with a well-trained and educated workforce, or continuing outdated tax loopholes to special interests with highly paid lobbyists. Those are our choices. A tax break is an advantage the government gives to a business so it can employ more people. We’re talking about a two-way street, an agreement with the same goal in mind: … Continue reading

Rep.Mike Sells Legislative Update for April 26,2013

April 26, 2013

Rep. Mike Sells

Rep.Mike Sells Legislative Update for April 26,2013

The session is scheduled to adjourn on Sunday, April 28. However, we will be going into overtime to continue budget negotiations and reach consensus between the House, Senate and Governor Inslee. Are certain tax exemptions more important than educating our kids?  On Wednesday, we answered that question when we approved a bill that closed or modified ten outdated and ineffective tax loopholes in order to fund our children’s education. This generated about $900 million for smaller class sizes, full-day kindergarten … Continue reading

Rep. Mike Sells – Legislative Update, March 29, 2013

March 29, 2013

Rep. Mike Sells

Rep. Mike Sells – Legislative Update, March 29, 2013

Governor Inslee released his proposal for the 2013-15 operating budget yesterday.  We expect that the Senate will follow with their own plan early next week, and the House will roll out our plan soon after.  Then, budget writers in both chambers will begin finding common ground, ironing out the differences, and ultimately pass a balanced, two-year state budget. Health care for our heroes Assumed savings from Medicaid Expansion are included in Gov. Inslee’s budget. Beginning next year, the federal government … Continue reading

Missed the 38th District Telephone Town Hall? The audio file is available!

March 15, 2013

Rep. Mike Sells

Missed the 38th District Telephone Town Hall? The audio file is available!

Listen to the 38th Legislative District Telephone Town Hall held by Reps. Mike Sells and John McCoy, and Sen. Nick Harper on Thursday, March 14.

38th District Telephone Town Hall this Thursday!

March 13, 2013

Rep. Mike Sells

38th District Telephone Town Hall this Thursday!

Who: 38th Legislative District delegation: Reps. John McCoy and Mike Sells, and Sen. Nick Harper What: Telephone town hall When: 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Thursday, March 14, 2013 Why: 38th LD constituents will be able to talk live with Reps. McCoy and Sells, and Sen. Harper about the 2013 Legislative Session. Under the telephone town hall format, thousands of constituents will receive automatically generated telephone calls to their homes in the 38th Legislative District at about 6 p.m. Thursday, March … Continue reading

Rep. Mike Sells – Legislative Update, Mar. 1, 2013

March 1, 2013

Rep. Mike Sells

Rep. Mike Sells – Legislative Update, Mar. 1, 2013

House policy committees did not meet this week, but legislators have been busy hearing bills in the House fiscal committees.  Bills must pass out of these committees by Friday, March 1, if they are to remain in play this year – unless they are budget-related. Starting next week, we’ll be on the floor of the House voting on legislation every day, potentially including Saturday and Sunday.  It’s the only way we can get as much done as possible within the … Continue reading

Protect Washington state’s system of workers’ compensation – Special to the Seattle Times

February 25, 2013

Rep. Mike Sells

Protect Washington state’s system of workers’ compensation – Special to the Seattle Times

Several bills pending at the state Legislature could peel back worker protections, according to guest columnists Bob Hasegawa and Mike Sells. By Representative Mike Sells and Senator Bob Hasegawa UNLESS you’re self-employed, you’re probably covered by our state’s workers’ compensation program. It affects pretty much anyone who brings home a paycheck. Still, a serious injury on the job is something many of us never have to worry about. When we think of injured workers, we tend to think of loggers … Continue reading

Rep. Mike Sells – Legislative Update, Feb. 15, 2013

February 15, 2013

Rep. Mike Sells

Rep. Mike Sells – Legislative Update, Feb. 15, 2013

What’s Important This Session I was on TVW’s “Inside Olympia” last week. We discussed the injured workers insurance that Republicans want to cut, which have no effect on the Operating Budget.  I stressed that we should concentrate on funding education and supporting families in time of need. Focusing on the 27,000 homeless students in our state, families struggling to make ends meet, and our employers getting the skilled workers they need should not be a partisan issue. Instead of working … Continue reading

Rep. Mike Sells on TVW’s “Inside Olympia” Feb. 7, 2013

February 7, 2013

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Rep. Mike Sells on TVW’s “Inside Olympia” Feb. 7, 2013

Click on the image to watch Rep. Mike Sells discussing jobs, workers’ comp, and workforce development issues on TVW’s “Inside Olympia” with Austin Jenkins

Rep. Mike Sells – Legislative Update, Jan. 18, 2013

January 18, 2013

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Rep. Mike Sells – Legislative Update, Jan. 18, 2013

Our first week in the legislature was packed with work sessions that included updates and accountability reports from agencies. In the Labor and Workforce Development Committee that I chair, the issue of jobs is always foremost. Our Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board reported on efforts of our community colleges to make sure our citizens have access to job training that fits the needs of workers and employers.  You can check out online some of those programs in our area … Continue reading

Sells elected to chair Labor Committee again

December 11, 2012

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Sells elected to chair Labor Committee again

Rep. Mike Sells, who took on the chairmanship of the Labor and Workforce Development Committee in 2011, has been elected by his peers to go at it again this coming session. “I will be working closely with business, labor and the public around issues of workplace safety, worker training and education, unemployment compensation and how we can help improve our business climate,” he said about his responsibilities chairing the committee. The House Labor & Workforce Development Committee considers issues relating … Continue reading

Rep. Mike Sells April 16/2012 e-memo

April 16, 2012

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  Budget and Jobs Now Act approved; Legislature adjourned sine die A balanced, responsible, and sustainable operating budget and the capital budget/Jobs Now Act passed the full legislature early Wednesday morning, and now sit on the Governor’s desk. The final operating budget contains no further cuts to K-12 education or higher education, and protects important safety net services like the Basic Health Plan, Disability Lifeline, and family planning grants. The Jobs Now Act will generate over 22,000 jobs statewide and … Continue reading

Rep. Mike Sells April 2/2012 e-memo

April 2, 2012

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  I had hoped to be able to report a budget agreement today, but negotiations are continuing as I send this. The differences between the two positions are relatively small, dollar-wise.  But there are some closely-held values being threatened that I don’t think we can sacrifice for the sake of expediency.  For example, I don’t believe we can afford to cut any more support for our public schools or the higher education system our growing industries are depending upon for … Continue reading

Rep. Mike Sells March 16/2012 e-memo

March 16, 2012

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Rep. Mike Sells March 16/2012 e-memo

Special session starts Because the House and Senate were unable to agree on a supplemental operating budget last week, the Governor called us back to work on Monday.  The majority of legislators, however, including myself, are not returning to the Capital until an agreement is reached. The reason for that is simple – the leadership and budget teams are the only legislators doing hands-on budget work and until they get close to completing their task, no other legislative action is … Continue reading

Rep. Mike Sells March 5/2012 e-memo

March 5, 2012

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Message from Rep. Sells Late Friday afternoon, three Democrats decided to side with the Republicans to give them an effective majority in the State Senate; it took less than five minutes for them to show what a Republican majority really means. Their first order of business was to use a parliamentary maneuver to pull a budget to the floor – a budget that had received no public hearing and therefore had no opportunity for amendments to make it better. It … Continue reading

Rep. Mike Sells March 2/2012 e-memo

March 2, 2012

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Rep. Mike Sells March 2/2012 e-memo

March 2, 2012 Message from Rep. Mike Sells The session is scheduled to end next Thursday, March 8. We are in high-gear right now as the final budget details are negotiated with the Senate and we pass the bills that are considered “necessary to implement the budget” or NTIB.  There have been many late nights on the floor this week as we head to the finish line. House Budget Proposal Passes The House passed its proposal for the supplemental budget … Continue reading

A message from Rep. Mike Sells on Friday night Senate Floor actions

March 1, 2012

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March 5, 2012 Message from Rep. Mike Sells Late Friday afternoon, three Democrats decided to side with the Republicans to give them an effective majority in the State Senate; it took less than five minutes for them to show what a Republican majority really means. Their first order of business was to use a parliamentary maneuver to pull a budget to the floor – a budget that had received no public hearing and therefore had no opportunity for amendments to … Continue reading

Rep. Mike Sells Feb 24/2012 e-memo

February 24, 2012

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February 24, 2012 Message from Rep. Mike Sells The House 2012 supplemental budget proposal was released on Tuesday.  Budget writers have been working on the document for several months, but needed the final revenue forecast before finishing it.  The goal was to create a state spending plan that’s balanced, supports basic education, and maintains the safety net and keeps higher education affordable. This budget cuts more than $1 billion from the already slimmed-down budget we approved less than a year … Continue reading

Rep. Mike Sells Feb 17/2012 e-memo

February 17, 2012

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February 17, 2012 Message from Rep. Mike Sells Budget update The state revenue collections are looking up for the first time since the spring of 2010, giving state budget writers a second bit of good news this month. The Economic and Revenue Forecast Council met Thursday and adopted a revised forecast for the current biennium and the first forecast for the 2013-15 biennium. In the current biennium, revenues are expected to grow by about $46 million. The forecast shows an … Continue reading

Rep. Mike Sells Jan 31/2012 e-memo

January 31, 2012

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January 31, 2012 Message from Rep. Mike Sells The 2012 legislative session is just about 1/3 over.  Today, January 31, is the last day that non-fiscal House bills can be moved out of committee and be eligible for further action.  Many committees are meeting well into the night in order to allow the public an opportunity to testify. The budget remains the highest priority of the session, and, contrary to what you may be hearing, the budget writers are right … Continue reading

38th District lawmakers invite citizens to join their Telephone Town Hall Jan. 31: McCoy, Sells, and Harper will engage constituents in frank legislative conversation

January 26, 2012

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SNOHOMISH COUNTY & OLYMPIA – Heads up, all of you Tulalip, Marysville, and Everett citizens: State Rep. John McCoy, state Rep. Mike Sells, and state Sen. Nick Harper will host a Telephone Town Hall Tuesday night, Jan. 31, from 6 to 7. Shortly before 6 o’clock that evening, thousands of 38th Legislative District citizens will receive telephone calls inviting them to stay on the line to participate in the tele-Town Hall. Participants who want to ask a question will need … Continue reading

Rep. Mike Sells Jan 13/2012 e-memo

January 13, 2012

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Rep. Mike Sells Jan 13/2012 e-memo

January 13, 2012 Message from Rep. Mike Sells 2012 Legislative Session Begins The 2012 session of the Washington State Legislature began Monday much the way the last session ended: with legislators focused on the economic challenges facing our state.  Although we dealt with about 1/3 of the projected budget shortfall in December, we still have a lot of work to do before we adjourn again. Members of the budget teams in both the House and Senate continued work over the … Continue reading

Rep. Mike Sells Dec 1/2011 e-memo

December 1, 2011

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December 1, 2011 Message from Rep. Mike Sells Legislators came to Olympia Monday to begin solving the $2 billion budget problem our state is facing this year.  This will not be an easy task.  Over the past three years, we’ve had to cut $10.5 billion from state services including health care, public safety, care for our elderly and people with disabilities, and education programs. On the first day of the special session, the House Ways and Means committee held a … Continue reading

Rep. Mike Sells Oct 3/2011 e-memo

October 3, 2011

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October 3, 2011 Message from Rep. Mike Sells Our State has three budgets. Understanding the ins and outs of Washington’s operating, capital, and transportation budgets can leave a Philadelphia lawyer (or hey, even a Wall Street economist) feeling downright baffled.  I hear from constituents all the time who wonder why there is a big highway project being built at the same time their children’s teachers are facing pay cuts. It’s important to note that the money to pay for these … Continue reading

Rep. Sells’ e-memo for March 25

March 25, 2011

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  The final cutoff for the policy committees has now passed, and only a week remains for fiscal committees to finish their work.  After that, all our focus will be on passing bills from the floor of the House and finishing the transportation, capital, and operating budgets.  There’s still a lot of work to do, but there has also been a lot accomplished so far this session.   College bill The House Higher Education Committee passed out the Senate version … Continue reading

Roads dollars: McCoy, Sells announce safety, maintenance works in transpo budget

March 24, 2011

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Snohomish County legislators say economy, efficiency are highlighted in 2011-2013 highway plan OLYMPIA – The Democratic transportation-budget proposal moving through the House of Representatives right now, according to two Snohomish County lawmakers, is essential in making headway toward: (1) Creating reliable jobs for Washington’s citizens. (2) Building durable networks for Washington’s infrastructures. (3) Maintaining dependable connections for Washington’s communities. Included in the overall budget proposal is a $28.1 million package of 38th Legislative District projects promoting highway safety and maintenance. … Continue reading

Rep. Sells’ e-memo for March 11

March 11, 2011

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  We are officially in the second-half of the 2011 session now that we have passed the House of origin cut-off I mentioned last week.  A lot of good bills, large and small, advanced from the House over to the Senate where they will be given another public hearing.  Here in the House, our committees are now considering bills that passed the Senate.  This process, though cumbersome, makes sure that you, the members of the public, have ample opportunity to … Continue reading

House Democrats maintain focus on budget, key priorities

March 7, 2011

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OLYMPIA – Though budget discussions dominated the first half of the session, legislators in the state House passed several key measures that balance our near-term economic challenges with long-term priorities in education, jobs and the environment. “Managing our way to economic recovery and responsibly balancing the budget is our most urgent challenge this session,” said House Speaker Frank Chopp (Seattle). “But we are also protecting those things that have made Washington a state where families want to live and businesses … Continue reading

Unprecedented L&I reform package to save millions, prevent harm to workers

March 5, 2011

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OLYMPIA – In a sweeping reform package for the state Department of Labor &  Industries (L&I), the House passed new efficiency and oversight measures adding flexibility for employers and injured workers, and stricter accident prevention enforcement.  In total, the package potentially saves the workers’ compensation system tens of millions of dollars each year and drive down employer premiums. The changes come in the wake of an overhaul to the state unemployment insurance forged with broad bi-partisan participation. “That same spirit … Continue reading

House approves workers comp reform to improve care, reduce costs

February 28, 2011

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OLYMPIA – Legislation to provide better medical care to injured workers, while also reducing costs, was approved unanimously by the House late Saturday evening. By creating a network of medical providers for injured workers, it’s estimated $160 million could be saved over the next four years, helping keep costs down for businesses providing jobs. Rep. Mike Sells, chair of the House Labor and Workforce Development Committee, sees this reform as a good way to help workers and businesses. “Getting injured … Continue reading

Rep. Sells’ e-memo – Feb 25, 2011

February 25, 2011

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February 25, 2011 Message from Rep. Sells The second major cutoff for this legislative session came on Friday when all fiscal bills had to be voted out of their respective committees or else be considered dead for the session.  The exceptions to that rule are bills that are necessary to implement the final 2011 supplemental budget and the 2011-13 biennial budget.  I and my House colleagues will be on the floor pretty much non-stop for the next ten days approving … Continue reading

Rep. Sells’ e-memo – Feb 18, 2011

February 18, 2011

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February 18, 2011 Message from Rep. Sells Thursday, February 17, was the last day a bill that originated in the House of Representatives could be passed out of a House policy committee for further consideration.  Hundreds of bills did not make that deadline, but that doesn’t mean they are completely “dead” – they will remain in their respective committees until next session when they have the chance to be heard again.  Bills that remain in committee at the end of … Continue reading

House gives businesses a break and workers a bump

February 9, 2011

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OLYMPIA—With an unprecedented unanimous vote, the House of Representatives approved legislation today to provide timely tax relief for businesses and much needed help for jobless workers. “With an Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund of $2.5 billion, it became very clear that we needed to do something that benefits the businesses that have paid into it, and the workers who are unemployed,” said Rep. Mike Sells (D-Everett), who Chairs the Labor and Workforce Development Committee and sponsored HB 1091. “We’re One Washington, … Continue reading

Rep. Sells’ e-memo – Feb 4, 2011

February 4, 2011

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February 4, 2011 Message from Rep. Sells I hope you are finding these e-memos informative.  Please feel free to forward them on to your friends and colleagues if you think they would also be interested in what’s happening in the Legislature. Also, you can keep track of the daily highlights on the HDC blog, The Advance.  Short summaries of important hearings, breaking news, and background information – it’s all there, and updated regularly.  Check it out! Bringing a University to … Continue reading

38th District lawmakers will host Telephone Town Hall Feb. 10

January 31, 2011

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McCoy, Sells, and Harper will engage constituents in lively legislative discussion SNOHOMISH COUNTY – Heads up, all of you Tulalip, Marysville, and Everett citizens: State Rep. John McCoy, state Rep. Mike Sells, and state Sen. Nick Harper will host a Telephone Town Hall Thursday night, Feb. 10, from 6 to 7. Shortly before 6 o’clock that evening, thousands of 38th Legislative District citizens will receive recorded phone calls inviting them to stay on the line to participate in the tele-Town … Continue reading

Joint statements from Sen. Nick Harper, Rep. John McCoy, and Rep. Mike Sells on the sale of Kimberly-Clark’s Everett mill

January 25, 2011

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Sen. Nick Harper, D-Everett “Protecting jobs in this region is our No. 1 priority. If Snohomish County and its workers emerge better off, then the sale seems prudent. “Kimberly-Clark prides itself on doing right by its workers. At this point, we have no reason to believe otherwise. “We have been assured this was purely a business decision, and not anything state and local government did or failed to do. “We’re taking a wait-and-see approach for now.” Rep. John McCoy, D-Tulalip … Continue reading

Rep. Sells’ e-memo – Jan 24, 2011

January 24, 2011

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January 24, 2011 Legislative Update 2011 supplemental budget The House Ways and Means committee passed a supplemental budget on Wednesday, and we will be considering it on the House floor Monday, January 24th.  This is the earliest the House has acted on a budget bill that anyone here can remember, and illustrates the serious nature of the cuts that are going to have to be made to balance the budget. Everything in the budget has its supporters, and we’re hearing … Continue reading

Rep. Mike Sells’ e-memo – Jan 13, 2011

January 13, 2011

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38th Legislative District · sells.mike@leg.wa.gov   ? Supplemental Budget ? Changes   January 13, 2011 Message from Rep. Mike Sells 2011 Legislative Session Begins First order of business: the supplemental budget As you have undoubtedly heard, Washington continues to face a budget shortfall.  Although the “experts” have declared the Great Recession over, we’re still a long way from a full recovery.  Washington is a sales-tax dependent state and consumers are still nervous about buying and consumption.  At the same time, … Continue reading

Steps toward economic recovery in Snohomish

June 30, 2010

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Washington was one of 46 states facing budget shortfalls this year, as fallout from the national and global recession continues to cause drops in employment and corresponding spikes in demand for state services. The financial hurdles we are going through are not extraordinary, but Washington state is taking extraordinary measures to kickstart our economic engines. In fact, part of the journey to economic recovery is starting right here in Snohomish with two of our state’s most important industries – nursing … Continue reading

Rep. Mike Sells Dec 19/2012 e-memo

December 19, 0201

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December 19, 2011 Message from Rep. Mike Sells Special session ends with considerable progress on the budget The Legislature has adjourned until January 9, 2012.  The just-ended special session, while short, did result in a bi-partisan agreement that takes a big bite out of the current budget shortfall.  Budget writers plan to continue working throughout the month to reach consensus on the additional cuts that will be needed to rebalance the budget. After the $10.5 billion we’ve already cut the … Continue reading