Another legislative session has come and gone, but we’re once again in special session. Why are we still in Olympia? Unfortunately, the legislature did not come to an agreement on the supplemental operating budget, which we need to do to pay for emergent needs like the 2015 wildfires that damaged much of our state. Governor Inslee has called for a special session to finish work on the budget. While representatives want to be back in their districts, we need to be here to stand up for our values.
House Democrats are here to stand up for the kids who are missing opportunities because schools are under-funded; the people in need of mental health care that have nowhere to turn; the families that can’t afford a home and are just trying to find a safe place to sleep tonight. These are the emergencies facing our state. We cannot turn our back on those in our communities who are suffering.
A budget is a declaration of our core values and the decisions we make today will shape the future of Washington state. While this work should have been completed during regular session, we believe a few extra days of session are worth it in the long run to make sure the budget we pass invests in education, helps those in need, and rebuilds the middle class.