We're now more than halfway through the legislative session. House of origin cutoff, which marks the day bills must pass out of their respective chambers to advance this year, has passed. Now House committees will begin considering Senate bills, and vice versa.
What does all of this mean for my legislation? Unfortunately, politics got in the way of good policy, and my legislation will not likely move forward this session. I'm especially disappointed my bill, which has bipartisan support, that would end the statute of limitations on rape and other felony sex offenses will not advance. This is important legislation that would empower victims of sex crimes, and give them another avenue to seek justice. That said, I will continue my work on this bill and others in the interim, and will reintroduce the legislation during the 2017 session.
Thankfully, there is some work being done to support rape survivors. A bill I co-sponsored, House Bill 2705, passed the House yesterday, and would simply increase the seriousness level of first degree rape.
Tuesday mornings on iFiber One News radio
Every Tuesday morning during session, I speak with Shelton's iFiber One News radio to provide a legislative update. During my latest interview, I talked about cutoff, the status of some of my bills, recent floor action and more. Click here to listen.
You can listen to all of my iFiber One News radio nterviews by visiting my SoundCloud page, here.
Honoring our military heroes
I, like you and many others throughout our state, am incredibly grateful for the sacrifices our military members and their families make. They truly are heroes. It's important we honor them and we, as lawmakers, do what we can to connect current members and veterans to necessary services and support.
This session is a supplemental budget year meant for small spending adjustments. Much of the funding will likely go toward emergency appropriations like for our summers' wildfires, and education funding to comply with the state Supreme Court's McCleary order. That said, I have made a specific funding request to the tune of $206,000 for the Mason County Veterans Shelter.
In addition, you may have seen from recent headlines that Seattle Seahawk Jermaine Kearse came to Olympia this week with Gold Star Kids, children of fallen military service men and women. Kearse and kids came to the House Republican Caucus to tell us about their foundation and why they were at the Capitol. After their presentation, one of the children handed me a small American flag, so that I may never forget the sacrifices her father made for our country. That flag now sits on my floor desk, and I will always remember that little girl and her father.
Much of what lawmakers do in Olympia is important public work, but much of it pales in comparison to the bravery demonstrated by our service members.
February state revenue forecast
The most recent revenue forecast was released Wednesday. Since the recession, our state has experienced slow and steady growth, with more marked improvements in the Seattle area.
The General Fund-State revenue forecast has decreased by $67 million for the current biennium and could be lower by $442 million for the next biennium. While this sounds like bad news, I don't think there is much reason to be overly concerned. Fluctuations are normal and this small dip can be attributed to a number of factors, including the economic states of our trade partners.
As always, if you have questions, comments or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact my office. It's an honor to serve you!