Rep. Ross Hunter

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Mental Health, Child Abuse, Disasters, Lawsuits…

January 23, 2015

Rep. Ross Hunter

Mental Health, Child Abuse, Disasters, Lawsuits…

OLYMPIA – The House Appropriations committee will have a public hearing on Monday, January 26 to discuss an early action supplemental operating budget proposal. The bill deals with a small handful of items that need immediate attention. The committee expects to adopt a more typical supplemental budget later in the session. Issues addressed in the bill are limited to the following: Mental health: More mental health treatment capacity is created to resolve the emergency room boarding lawsuit and an expected … Continue reading

Nobody is going to be able to ram anything down anyone else’s throat…

January 17, 2015

Rep. Ross Hunter

Nobody is going to be able to ram anything down anyone else’s throat…

I get a small cameo on the Seattle Channel Legislative preview show. I’m in the first 30 seconds, and all I get to say is “Nobody is going to be able to ram anything down anyone else’s throat.” This is in the context of host Brian Callanan talking about the split control of the Legislature. Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess gets a better quote “They have a tough job in Olympia this year.” He says it with a deeply sincere expression that makes … Continue reading

Great Town Hall meeting last weekend

January 15, 2015

Rep. Ross Hunter

Rep. Joan McBride, Sen. Cyrus Habib and I had a great, if lightly attended town hall meeting last week at Redmond City Hall. We’ll do more of these, and I’ll get my email notification system working more effectively by then. I think there is one schedule in late February. The Reporter papers covered it, if somewhat desultorily. Mostly we talked about the budget, but also some education policy issues, transportation, and mental health came up a lot. We’re also looking … Continue reading

Washington reserves becoming healthy again

January 15, 2015

Rep. Ross Hunter

Washington reserves becoming healthy again

The Pew Charitable Trusts devotes significant resources to assessing the fiscal health of the states. They do (mostly) great work, and the information they provide is a great comparison of how different states approach managing their finances. It’s something we look at regularly. As you can see Washington was slightly above the national median at the beginning of the century, then dropped below due to Initiative 728, the tech boom crash, and one of the Eyman measures that lowered taxes … Continue reading

Lawmakers seek community input on state budget

January 5, 2015

Rep. Ross Hunter

Lawmakers seek community input on state budget

How would you solve Washington state’s $4.4 billion budget problem? That’s the central question Senator-elect Cyrus Habib (D-Kirkland) and Representative Ross Hunter (D-Medina) will be asking their constituents at a town hall meeting this Saturday, 10 a.m. at Redmond City Hall. Representative-elect Joan McBride (D-Kirkland) will also be participating in the discussion. The eastside lawmakers want to hear from 48th district residents on what issues are important to them. They will provide a brief overview of the challenges and opportunities … Continue reading

Expensive Cloud, Silver Lining…

December 29, 2014

Rep. Ross Hunter

One of the key responsibilities for the state is running the prison system. Overall we spend about $1.5 billion on the entire corrections system, including medical care for inmates. The US Constitution requires that inmates receive healthcare that meets the same standards as is available to the rest of the community. Two new drugs have recently become available for treating Hepatitis C, an infectious disease that affects up to 20% of the prison population. The drugs are a miracle – … Continue reading

Dire Future for State Budgets?

December 23, 2014

Rep. Ross Hunter

The Washington Post has an article today (or some recent day – I only read online) about the long-term pressures faced by state and local governments.  The article compares growth in key revenue sources with growth in costs and projects a dire future. The title is “GAO: Without draconian cuts, states face decades-long fiscal crisis“. Key concerns they have include The sales tax continues to decline as a fraction of GDP. This means that over time people buy less stuff … Continue reading

Rep. Hunter reelected to chair House Appropriations Committee

December 11, 2014

Rep. Ross Hunter

Rep. Hunter reelected to chair House Appropriations Committee

Rep. Ross Hunter of Medina will again head the key budget-writing efforts of the majority House Democrats in the 2015 Legislature, serving as chair of the Appropriations Committee. The Appropriations Committee is responsible for writing the two-year state operating budget, which pays for general government expenditures like teacher salaries, health care services, prison operations, and the higher education system. It also handles global fiscal issues such as pension policy as well as bills with significant fiscal impacts. “We have a … Continue reading

Major 520 Work in June

June 9, 2014

Rep. Ross Hunter

Major 520 Work in June

The Eastside portion of the 520 project will reach a major milestone this summer – it’ll be mostly done by August/September. There will be punchlist work for some of the fall, but major disruptions should end. I know it’s been a bear of a project. Over the next few weeks you’ll see some major changes in traffic flow. I am sure it will be seriously aggravating. Closing the entire corridor for a year would have been worse. Letting it sink … Continue reading

Fail: Congress Working on Toxics Policy

June 5, 2014

Rep. Ross Hunter

Fail: Congress Working on Toxics Policy

With the exception of education policy, there’s probably no other issue where states’ rights are paramount than when it comes to the health of its residents. Congress is currently considering a bill that would have devastating consequences to public health in Washington state if they don’t make major changes to the proposal. The federal Chemicals in Commerce Act (CICA), currently being considered by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is an attempt to update the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act. … Continue reading

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End of Session Update



 

Photo Gallery

Rep. Ross Hunter, D-48 Aaron Barna

Rep. Ross Hunter, D-48

 Suhyoon Cho

Rep. Ross Hunter speaking with TVW on Opening Day.

 Kathy Strauss
 Suhyoon Cho
 Suhyoon Cho

Early Start Act of 2014 news conference

The Association of Washington Cities event. Steven M. Herppich

Rep. Hunter giving a budget update to city leaders at the Association of Washington Cities annual conference

 Aaron Barna

Rep. Hunter speaking to PTA members in the capitol rotunda.

 Aaron Barna

Rep. Ross Hunter and Drew Hansen on the House Floor

 Suhyoon Cho

Rep. Hunter celebrating #BlueFriday with Speaker Pro Tem Rep. Jim Moeller

 Kathy Strauss

Rep. Hunter speaking with documentary film makers from South Korea

Rep. Ross Hunter's 2014 end of session newsletter

About Ross
I’m proud to represent Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Medina, Clyde Hill, Hunts Point, Yarrow Point and a little bit of Issaquah in the Washington State House of Representatives.
I am chairman of the Appropriations Committee, responsible for crafting biennial budgets. I also chair the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council.