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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The special session is over and I'm back home in Richland. While I'm disappointed it took a special session for budget leaders to arrive at a compromise, I'm pleased that this supplemental budget was a true supplemental budget with no tax increases on you, and no major policy spending increases. We tapped into the state's rainy day fund for a one-time allotment of $190 million to help pay for last year's wildfires and total policy spending increased by about $191 million. Here are further highlights of the 2016 supplemental budget:
* $5.2 million for the Beginning Educator Support Team (BEST) program and paraeducator certification.
* $4.2 million to keep public charter schools open and operating in Washington.
* $7.8 million for reimbursement to state colleges and universities for last year's historic tuition cuts.
* $18 million to maintain state need grant funding with the College Bound program.
* $2 million for expanding the number of mobile crisis teams.
* $6.8 million for additional state hospital registered nurses at Western State Hospital.
* $4.3 million for health home services.
* $29 million for home health care individual provider overtime.
* $190 million for wildfire suppression costs related to the 2015 wildfire season.
8th District town hall meeting!
Please join me, Rep. Brad Klippert and Sen. Sharon Brown for our public town hall meeting on Wednesday, April 20 at 6 p.m. at the Arc of Tri-Cities in Richland located at 1455 SE Fowler St. We will discuss the recent 2016 legislative session and take questions from participants. I hope to see you there.
As this is an election year, I am restricted on my communications with you via mailings or e-newsletters once session is over. This will be my last e-newsletter until the fall. Thank you for reading my updates and for staying involved. If you have any questions or need a speaker for your community, civic or church event, please let me know. It is an honor to serve you in Olympia.
122H Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7986 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000