The Current | March 20, 2015

2015 legislative session • March 20, 2015 • 68th day

The Current

Letter from Leadership 

Dear Friend: 

It's the first day of spring and the tulips and cherry blossoms on the Capitol campus remind us that we've had a mild winter.

By the end of this week, we will be two-thirds of the way through the legislative session. The House spent the last five days considering several Senate bills. Budget writers also continued to meet as they have throughout the year.

House Democrats to release operating budget proposal 

The House Democrats are expected to release their 2015-17 operating budget proposal early next week. This is an important first step to ensure state lawmakers complete their work in 105 days. 

I made something clear at our media availability event this week: if House Democrats want to raise taxes, they need to be transparent about where this new revenue would come from when pass their operating budget. If they believe tax increases are needed, then vote and negotiate for it. 

Governor declares drought emergency

Gov. Inslee declared a drought emergency for three regions of the state last Friday. The regions include: the Olympic Peninsula, the east side of the central Cascade Mountains, including Yakima and Wenatchee; and the Walla Walla area. You can stay updated through this website

Federal agents search state auditor's house, subpoena office records 

Like you, we were surprised to learn federal agents had searched the home of State Auditor Troy Kelley this week. A day later, we also found out the Justice Department subpoenaed records from his state auditor's office back on March 6. 

One of our legislative priorities is to establish trust in state government. To that end, we look forward to all of the facts of this situation coming forward soon. Washingtonians deserve the assurance that their watch dog state agency is transparent and looking out for them.

In your service,

Rep. Dan Kristiansen
House Republican Leader
39th District

Rep. Mark Harmsworth

Meet Rep. Mark Harmsworth

Few state lawmakers can say they bring a private-sector, local government and international perspective to the Legislature. Rep. Mark Harmsworth can make this claim. Originally from England, he has worked in the technology industry, including stints at Microsoft and Amazon. He served two terms on the Mill Creek City Council, and served as mayor pro-tem. 

You can meet Rep. Harmsworth and his legislative assistant in this video update. The 44th District Republican has been focusing on transportation issues.

Medal of Valor and Medal of Merit

Remembering the Oso landslide  

This Sunday will mark the one-year anniversary of the tragic Oso landslide. Community events this weekend will commemorate the victims and relief efforts. 

A joint session of the Legislature was held for a Medal of Valor and Medal of Merit ceremony on Wednesday. Information on these awards can be found at this website.

The communities of Arlington, Darrington, Oso and the Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe were awarded individual Medal of Valor certificates. Billy Frank Jr. (deceased) and Gretchen Schodde received the Medal of Merit. This event program has details on their stories. 

You can learn more about the ceremony and the people and communities honored in Rep. Kristiansen's e-mail update.

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