Sen. Ann Rivers' Legislative Update - Sine Die Edition


March 29, 2016

Sine die tree

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

This morning I snapped a photo of this beautiful saucer magnolia just outside the entrance of the Legislative Building as I was heading to the Senate floor for the last budget votes of this session. It's dubbed 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. Fortunately this tree was still putting on a spectacular show for me to enjoy on our final day! 


Session by the numbers

11 - Bills I sponsored or shepherded through the process that will become law this year. I focused on legislation that kept people working, supported public safety and ensured that your hard-earned tax dollars go where we say they will.

3700 - The number of felons that were mistakenly released from state prisons over the last decade before their sentences were complete. By the time this scandal was disclosed on Dec. 22 at least two Washington residents had been killed by felons who should have still been in prison.

1988 - The last year the Senate felt compelled to request a subpoena. On January 12 the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus announced they would be seeking subpoena authority to get to the bottom of the early-release scandal that appeared to be merely looking for a few scapegoats and returning to business as usual.

18 - Number of years since the Senate voted to not confirm a gubernatorial appointee. Not content with "good enough" and demanding accountability, on February 5 the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus used its constitutional authority to reject the appointment of transportation secretary Lynn Peterson, effectively firing her.

$191 million - The lowest non-recession spending amount this century. The Majority Coalition Caucus fought for and passed a true supplemental operating budget. Our Majority Coalition Caucus led the way to a no-new taxes solution that puts significant reforms around the Health Care Authority to provide cost savings and oversight in the future and also helps those areas devastated by wildfires recover.

In the past three years, the Legislature has invested an additional $4.6 billion into K-12 education.

State college students saw a 5 percent tuition cut this academic year with another, larger cut to come for the 2016/17 school year.

For the past four years, the Senate has produced a balanced budget that does not raise taxes -- that has to be a first!

John McKibbin

Honoring a great man - John McKibbin

This morning the Senate paused briefly to honor a visionary leader for southwest Washington, John McKibbin.

John served our community in many roles during his lifetime. He taught at Vancouver's Columbia River High School in the early '70s before becoming a 49th District legislator in 1974. After two terms in the House of Representatives, John became a Clark County Commissioner.

When John left elected office, he volunteered and served as president and chief executive officer of the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce. From there he founded Identity Clark County and Leadership Clark County in an effort to engage more folks in public service.

John was an energetic, amazing strategic thinker -- and my friend. I will miss his wise counsel and his leadership. Our community is poorer as the result of his passing. My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Nancy, his daughters and grandchildren.


I serve you and I want your state capitol to be an open and inviting place.


Give me a call, send me a letter or email or visit me in my office.


I look forward to hearing from you!





(360) 786-7634