The Current | May 13, 2013

The Current

Your citizen Legislature • Washington House Republicans • May 13, 2013

Rep. Dan Kristiansen

Letter from Leadership

We hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day yesterday.

The first day of the special session feels a lot like the last day of the regular session: quiet, with no major agreements on the operating and capital budgets. While some progress has been made the last two weeks, a lot of work remains to be done.  

Our leadership team met this morning to discuss our goals and strategy for the special session. We believe this special session should be about fiscally-responsible state budgets, job growth and holding the line on new tax increases. Now is not the time to revive failed, controversial bills that divide the Legislature.

A lot of people have asked us what the major differences are on the three operating budget proposals from the House, Senate and governor. In short, House Democrats would spend the most money and leave the least amount in reserves. The governor would increase taxes by the largest amount. The Senate would dedicate an additional $1.5 billion to K-12 education, leave nearly $600 million in reserves and not raise taxes.

For a comparison of the three operating budget proposals, click here. If you would like to see a more detailed comparison of the House and Senate operating budgets, click here.  

We will keep you updated on the progress of the special session. We continue to welcome your input. 

In your service,
Rep. Dan Kristiansen 
39th District 
House Republican Leader

In the news

“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”

—Abraham Lincoln 

Law Enforcement Medal of Honor Ceremony

Law Enforcement Medal of Honor Ceremony

There are many special events on the Capitol campus each year. One such event took place on May 3 -- the Law Enforcement Medal of Honor Ceremony. This event honors law enforcement officers who have been killed in the line of duty, or who have distinguished themselves by exceptional meritorious conduct. To learn more about the ceremony, click here.

Poll question of the week

The House Democrats and governor want to raise taxes by around $1 billion.

Do you support $1 billion in new tax increases? To share your opinion, click here

The history of special sessions 

Today is the first day of the 2013 special session. To read the governor's recent proclamation, click here

This is the seventh special session in the last three years. There were two special sessions in 2012 (the second lasting just one day), two in 2011, and two in 2010.  According to this article, the 31 days of special session in 2012 cost $291,723.

For a look back on the history of legislative sessions, click here.

YMCA Youth and Government

YMCA Youth and Government

Young men and women from across the state come to Olympia each spring for YMCA Youth and Government. Students take over the Capitol campus, including the House floor and state Supreme Court chambers, to debate legislative issues and conduct mock trials.

The group's vision is new generations of ethical and informed public-minded citizens, and its mission is to teach democratic values and skills to youth through hands-on experiences.

To learn more about YMCA Youth and Government, click here.

The other Washington  

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Goals for the special session

We have four goals for the special session. First, all sides must come together to pass a sustainable, prioritized, no-new-taxes operating budget.

Second, state lawmakers must pass a fiscally-responsible capital budget that makes important investments in communities across our state. 

Third, the Legislature should only consider bills that are necessary to implement the state budgets. The only exception would be legislation that would create jobs, help employers and strengthen the economy. 

Finally, special sessions come with extra costs. We believe state lawmakers should finish their work on time and within the designated 30 days. 

Revenue reminders 

  • Expected revenue:
    $30.5 billion
    $32.5 billion
    $35.3 billion
  • $2 billion more revenue expected for 2013-15 budget cycle compared to 2011-13.
  • State revenues are expected to grow 6.6 percent from 2011-13 to 2013-15 budget cycles.
  • Taxes collected from all retail sales grew by 5 percent in 2012.

Where does Washington rank for unemployment?

According to this Bureau of Labor Statistics chart, 28 states have a lower unemployment rate than Washington. We can and must do better for those who are unemployed or underemployed. When people are employed, it also eases the pressure on the operating budget.

Rep. BRad Hawkins

Freshman spotlight: Rep. Brad Hawkins

Few state lawmakers can say they hold degrees from universities in both Washington state and Washington, D.C., but Rep. Brad Hawkins can. Learn more about the new 12th District state representative by clicking here

This concludes our "Freshman spotlight" series. If you missed previous bios on our members, you can find them here: