Virtual town hall TONIGHT and investments in our community

Friends and neighbors,

Last week was a big week in the Legislature for budgets. The House announced our construction budget, which funds projects around the state, and the Washington Recovery Budget, the next step in our plan for community and economic recovery.

Construction and good paying jobs in our community

First, I want to talk about our construction budget, which would put tens of thousands of Washington residents to work rebuilding our communities and economy. I’m happy to report that this proposal has some great projects for the 42nd Legislative District, including:

  • $2.6 million for Bellingham Healthy Housing and $4 million for the Way Station to provide a safe and welcoming facility where people experiencing homelessness can access a constellation of services to assist their transition to sustainable housing.
  • $500,000 for downtown revitalization in Blaine.
  • Nearly $1 million for early learning facilities in Bellingham and Mount Baker.
  • $350,000 for the East Whatcom Regional Resource Center Sports Court.
  • And much more!

I want to be clear that there will likely be changes to these projects as the House and Senate negotiate the final budget. I’ll be closely tracking the developments as they move through the legislative process to ensure that our community receives the crucial investments we need.


Washington Recovery Budget

Washington communities are hurting. Renters have an unprecedented $1 billion in back rent, 30% of residents do not have reliable access to food, small businesses have had to close doors, some permanently, and families are worried about how they’ll stay afloat. This budget recognizes the needs in so many communities: a roof over their heads, money to keep their small businesses doors open while ensuring their customers and staff are safe, vaccines in every community and health care infrastructure to support them, and relief for low-income communities and communities of color who have suffered the most from COVID-19, physically and financially.

The proposed operating budget introduced on Friday says that if we are going to recover, we have to recover together and not leave anyone behind. This relief will allow our neighbors the boost they need to get through this challenging time and at the same time their local dollars will be invested in our local businesses to keep our local economy moving forward. When we invest in our neighbors, we invest in ourselves.

The budget was heard in the House Appropriations committee and will be considered on the floor in the coming weeks. The Senate bill will also go through the same process and then there will be negotiations to come to a final agreement. There’s a long road ahead for this budget, but this proposal is a huge step in the right direction.

Join our virtual town hall tonight

Don’t forget that Rep. Shewmake and I will be hosting a virtual town hall tonight at 6pm. You can watch live on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Submit questions ahead of time here or simply join at 6pm to ask them live in the chat. See you there!

Alicia Rule