Friends and neighbors –
As a new legislator, I have focused on local issues of public safety, education, the Weyerhaeuser campus, and airplane noise. I have advocated on these issues in Olympia, and am pleased—with the partnership of Rep. Kristine Reeves—to have successfully included these priorities in our House Capital Budget.
One of the first meetings I scheduled as a new legislator was with partners who want to preserve the Weyerhaeuser campus. We needed to break the log jam and start government conservation efforts. This week I worked to place $250,000 of the state’s Capital Budget funding to initiate possible conservation efforts. This is in addition to the $1 million that both the City of Federal Way and King County committed in the last several weeks. Conservation of the campus is a big concern, and I’m hopeful we can continue to move forward in this state-city-county funding partnership.
As someone who has prosecuted criminal cases in our area, I know how important it is that our public safety infrastructure is fully functional. Recent events in Federal Way call upon all appropriate responses. I have successfully included in the House Capital Budget $250,000 to fund Safe City Camera Replacement for the City of Federal Way. These funds will update outdated security cameras at main crime spots. It will better support local police in public safety efforts.
I have heard from those suffering from airplane noise. It’s a big public health concern. From noise to air quality, how airplanes affect communities can vary. That’s why I fought to secure $250,000 for the UW School of Public Health to conduct a study in Marine Hills, North Federal Way, Redondo and Woodmont over the next two years to research the air quality implications of air traffic at SeaTac International Airport. Specifically, I want to assess the concentration of ultrafine particulate matter in the surrounding area, as well as noise and vibration. Once the study is complete, a report will be sent back to the Legislature for our review and opportunity to discuss options. While airplane matters are generally an issue of the federal government, I want to use every state tool available to fight for our community. In the meantime, I will continue to meet with our U.S. Senators and our Congressional delegation to put pressure on the FAA.
Fully Funding Education
The biggest issue facing the Legislature this session is fully funding basic education. You have probably read enough about the task ahead of us, but I’m committed to working on funding our schools until the job is done. Both sides need to come to the table and compromise. No deal will be perfect. In order to meet our paramount duty to our kids, we must work together.
With a little over a week left until the end of our regular session, I’m hopeful that the House and Senate can find the solution that is needed. Now that both sides have passed versions of the budget, I’ll keep you updated as we progress.