Sen. Curtis King's Olympia Update - Sine Die Edition

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March 29, 2016

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

This morning, as I was heading to the Senate floor for the last budget votes of this session, I passed this beautiful saucer magnolia just outside the entrance of the Legislative Building. We refer to it as the "sine die" tree because it is typically in full bloom just as lawmakers reach the end of the short 60-day session.

It took us an additional 20 days, but the final product was well worth the extra time. Please continue reading to learn more details about the supplemental operating budget.

Sine Die tree

No new taxes in bipartisan budget deal

Since the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus was formed in 2012, the budget news I report each year sounds a lot the same: no new taxes, bipartisan and balances over four years. And this year is no different.

Although it took longer to reach an agreement with the House of Representatives than I would have liked, the end result is a true supplemental budget.

While spending increases were restrained, they address the greatest needs of Washington residents. In fact, this is the lowest non-recession spending budget this century.

Some of the highlights include:

  • Uses $190 million of the rainy day fund, only for covering the cost of fighting the 2015 wildfires.
  • Funding for public charter schools.
  • Additional funding for state colleges to retain the historic tuition cut of 2015.
  • Significant reforms to the Health Care Authority to provide cost savings and oversight in the future.
  • Western State Hospital improvements to increase quality of care and safety for patients and staff.
  • Increases home visits and oversight for people with developmental disabilities at highest risk for abuse; creates new developmental disability ombudsman.
  • Supported overtime pay for home health care providers, with a limit on totals the Senate fought for in order to reduce significant future budget liabilities.

Office staff
From left to right, Andy Tran, Ella Williams, Laura Bell and I at the Senate rostrum

Thanks to my outstanding office staff

As the chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, my office is extremely busy, particularly during the legislative session. That's why I so appreciated the excellent work done by my executive assistant, Laura Bell, my legislative assistant, Ella Williams, and intern, Andy Tran.

Laura Bell has been in my office since my first day in the state Senate and has been indispensable to me. Those of you who have called or visited my office know first hand how friendly and helpful she is. Consequently it is with mixed feelings I wish to congratulate her on a new position with the Secretary of the Senate's office.

You can expect to receive the same friendly service from Tawnya Smith, my new executive assistant, that you've been accustomed to over the past nine years.


In closing...

I hope you find my Olympia Update informative and that you will continue to contact me with your thoughts, opinions and concerns about state or district issues. Your opinion is of great value to me. It truly remains my honor to serve you in the Washington State Senate.


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It's an honor and a privilege to serve the people of the 14th District in Olympia.

That is something I never take for granted.

I hope you'll use the following information to contact me.

I look forward to hearing from you.




(360) 786-7626



PO Box 40414

Olympia, WA 98504-0414