Greetings from Olympia!
We hope you enjoyed the winter blitz that hit Seattle this weekend. We’re happy to report we made it back to Olympia on Monday ready to hit the ground running. This week we have been voting on the House floor almost every day and into the evening as we try to send as many bills as we can over to the Senate before next week’s cut-off deadline.
Last Wednesday evening we were reminded of why we do this work when we heard from many of you during our hour-long Telephone Town Hall. Nearly 5500 people participated and many of you had tough questions for us—which we were eager to answer.
If you didn’t get a chance to call in last Wednesday, you can listen in by clicking here.
If you don’t have time to listen to the whole call, here are some of the highlights:
Based on your questions and comments, it’s clear that one of the top issues on the minds of the 34th District voters is how we’re going to maintain funding for our transit system. It was great to hear that our constituents share our support for a transportation package that includes funding for ferries (fast forward to 8:14), buses and light rail (17:01), and walking and bicycling routes (47:41), as well as roads and highways.
We also heard a lot of concerns about the health of our families and communities. You asked us about efforts to expand access to dental care for our state’s working poor (19:45), efforts to protect childhood health and nutrition (46:13), future prospects for a single payer health care system (31:35), and the state of Washington’s mental health system (52:40).
And we had a chance to discuss a wide array of other issues, including the movement of coal and oil through our state (12:12 & 32:00), investments in green energy (37:10), campaign finance reform (42:59), medical marijuana (41:50) and preventing gun violence (28:55).
We feel so fortunate and proud to represent the 34th District, which is full of engaged constituents who share our priorities of promoting safe and healthy communities. We’re looking forward to returning to District after session, where we will be eager to meet with you about these and other issues that are on your mind.
Thank you for taking the time to read this legislative update. As always, please do not hesitate to contact us with questions or feedback.
Eileen and Joe
April 15th is right around the corner and that means it is time to gather all your papers and file your taxes.
Whether you choose to file online or with a paper form, there are many resources to help. Check out this webpage from the Department of Commerce for links to income tax preparation assistance for seniors or low-income families.
Also on the Department of Commerce page there is information about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Did you know that a family with two children making around $48,000/year can qualify for an EITC of up to $5,372? You can find out more about the EITC at the Department of Commerce’s webpage or from the IRS’s website.
If you or your family have been living without health insurance, it’s not too late to sign up for a plan through Washington’s Healthplanfinder!
You may even be eligible for Washington Apple Health or a federal subsidy to help pay for your new plan.
You have until March 31st to sign up for 2014 coverage. If you’d rather sign up by phone or in person, click here to review your options.
303 John L O’Brien Building
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
305 John L O’Brien Building
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(800) 635-9993 (TTY)