The state’s budget is a statement of our values. The spending decisions we make as a legislature have real impacts on people like you and me, and especially on the most vulnerable among us.
As you know, the Senate Republican budget proposal was released earlier this week. The cuts it relies on show little regard for people who are struggling and will harm our children, our families, and our state. Many of their cuts are not only harmful; they’re also shortsighted and would end up costing our state more down the road.
Some of the cuts are particularly concerning, for example:
House Democrats will introduce our budget today. It will represent our shared values by helping working families, fully funding K-12 schools, continuing to fix our mental health system, closing the opportunity gap, and supporting at-risk youth.
As the process continues, I will remain a staunch advocate for the people and values of the 38th legislative district.
Sound Transit 3
Last November, voters approved Sound Transit 3 to expand regional light-rail and ease congestion. The initiative included a motor vehicle excise tax increase.
People have been receiving their car tab renewals over the past few weeks and many have a significantly higher charge than in previous years. In addition, the Department of Licensing (DOL) believes a number of vehicles may have been valued incorrectly due to errors when they were titled, or incorrect values reported from dealers.
Unemployment at a nine-year low
According to the Employment Security Department’s latest report released last Thursday, Washington’s economy added 6,100 jobs in February and the unemployment rate fell from 5.1 to 4.9 percent, making it the lowest since March 2008.
The greatest job growth was in construction with 2,000 new jobs. In addition, professional and business services increased 1,300; leisure and hospitality added 1,100; other services were up 1,000; financial activities jumped 500; and wholesale trade and information added 100 jobs each. Although as a whole the state gained jobs, retail trade, transportation, warehousing & utilities, and manufacturing lost 2,000 jobs last month.
Washington added more than 85,000 jobs from February 2016 to February 2017: over 73,000 new jobs in the private sector and 12,000 in the public sector.
The bad news is not all of our counties are experiencing such growth. We have to do more to help people find jobs and success all across the state, not just in our heavily populated areas.
Learn more at the ESD report site.
Thank you for your time and interest in your legislature. Please contact my office if you need information on any legislative issue, or if you have concerns, ideas or feedback.