Will the Governor ask for new taxes again?

current banner

106 Newhouse Building ● P.O. Box 40404 ● Olympia WA 98504-0404

Report from Olympia |  December 12, 2018

Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree is lit at the Legislative Building in Olympia!

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Christmas is right around the corner, and I hope you and your loved ones will have the best of holidays, with plenty of love and gratitude, good food and time with friends and family. Please take a moment this December to remember those who are less fortunate.

Several organizations depend on the generosity of others to help provide meals and presents to needy families and give hope to those who have lost hope. If you are able, and so inclined, please consider contacting your local church or established charity and consider giving.

Unfortunately, as we prepare for the legislative session that will start next month, some folks in Olympia are also in the giving spirit. They want to give you bigger energy bills, fewer jobs and higher taxes.

This week, the governor began laying out his policy agendas for 2019, starting with the presentation of an energy and environment plan on Monday, followed by action items on mental health on Tuesday and homelessness yesterday. Tomorrow he is expected to roll out his budget proposal. Will he go seven for seven in proposing new or higher taxes? Time will tell, but either way, tax relief, economic growth, safety for our citizens and family friendly policies should be our goals.

We also had some melancholy news this month with the passing of both President George H.W. Bush and our district’s own former-Rep. Lynn Schindler.

You can read about these and other issues in this edition of Report from Olympia.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out and share your thoughts with me. Several of you have done just that at my coffee meetings this year.

And thanks again for the honor of representing you in the Washington State Senate.


Senator Mike Padden

2019 Committee Assignments


When the 2019 session begins on Jan. 14, I will be resuming my role as the ranking minority member on the Senate Law and Justice Committee as well as returning to the Senate K-12 and Early Education Committee. I will also be taking on new responsibilities as a member of the Senate Transportation Committee.

The ranking (or top minority) position on the Law and Justice Committee will allow me to maintain my focus on matters of law, the judiciary and law enforcement. I will be able to continue working on public-safety issues, particularly property crimes, impaired driving, and human trafficking.

Although the largest K-12 question of the decade – the court case on education funding known as McCleary – is behind us now, education will continue to be a leading issue next year. Support for charter and religious schools, increased school safety and improvements in the quality of education for each our children will be among my top priorities.

Last, but not least, I am looking forward to serving on the Transportation Committee, especially in a budget year such as this one. Transportation infrastructure is key to making sure people and goods have easy access to and through our communities. Over the past several sessions, we have been able to secure support for a number of vital projects in our region, including funding for the Barker grade-separation project. With the substantial growth in the Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake and unincorporated Spokane County, we have significant transportation infrastructure needs.

From the District:

Among the Christmas trees, Hutton Settlement’s Trevor McArthur finds place and purpose

By Rob Curley, Spokesman-Review | Dec. 9, 2018

Trevor McArthur

Trevor McArthur helps customers Judy and Morris Wigen at the Hutton Settlement Christmas tree farm at the children's home in Spokane on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. Trevor is a resident at Hutton, a senior at West Valley High School and enrolled in Running Start at Spokane Community College. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

If you go

It’s the smell. Not the warm and familiar fragrance of the trees, though he loves that scent as well. For Trevor McArthur, the smell of the holidays at the Hutton Settlement is that campfire that crackles each night during the annual Christmas tree fundraiser. Actually, it’s how all of it smells together that makes him feel like he’s home.

… Trevor had just finished another evening selling Christmas trees at Hutton, the nearly century-old home near Millwood that serves those in our region who might be without a family of their own to take care of them.

And the 17-year-old is really good at selling trees – so good, that at least during the holidays, some of the other kids at Hutton call him “Tree Var.” Whether he likes the nickname or not, it makes him smile when he hears it.

When the Hutton Settlement was built, it was an orphanage. Then you could probably call it more of a foster-care home, with an emphasis on a keeping brothers and sisters together. Now, it has Children’s Home in its name. For Trevor, it’s just home.

Click here to read the full story in the Spokesman-Review.

Farewell to former 4th District Representative Lynn Schindler

Lynn Schindler

Last week, I received the sad news that former Rep. Lynn Schindler had passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. Representative Schindler was appointed in mid-1998 to the 4th Legislative District seat I had held before becoming a Spokane County District Court judge in 1995. She was elected to four more terms in the House by 4th District voters before stepping down after the 2008 election.

I knew Lynn well before she got into politics – which was after raising 10 children – and was not at all surprised that once she became a member of the House, she became the absolute paragon of what a legislator ought to be.

In addition to being a solid conservative who reflected the values of our district, she displayed a great ability to work with people on both sides of an issue to accomplish things.

Her work at the committee level was first-rate, she had a sterling reputation, and she made such a positive impression during her 10 years in the House that even years later, people around the Capitol would still ask me about her. My family and hers have stayed in touch; I was very sorry to learn that she had passed away and will remember her fondly.

A funeral Mass is scheduled for 10 a.m. Dec. 13 (tomorrow) at Mount St. Michael’s Church, with a rosary at the church at 7 p.m. tonight.

In the News:

Remembering legacy of George H.W. Bush and the Greatest Generation

By Elizabeth and Bob Dole, USA Today | Dec. 11, 2018

Bob and Elizabeth Dole with President Bush

Our nation mourned last week the passing of a cherished servant leader who was truly the man for all seasons. President George H. W. Bush brought wisdom, a keen sense of mission and diplomacy, incomparable patriotism, along with compassion and humanity, to every assignment he accepted on behalf of the American people. Through his repeated answers to our nation’s call to serve — as congressman, ambassador to the United Nations, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, vice president and the 41st president of the United States — he left an indelible mark on the course of our nation. He will forever stand as one of the finest examples of what it means to be an American.

The world has heard so many wonderful and deserved tributes to the individual legacy of President Bush. As last week also marked the 77th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, however, we should also pause to recognize President Bush’s role in the collective legacy of the Greatest Generation and reflect on the significance of yet another World War II hero lost to time.

Click here to read the full article.


* * *