Update from Olympia

Sen. Short Banner

February 28, 2020

Short floor

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Greetings! With the end of the 2020 legislative session less than two weeks away, I want to update you on what’s been happening in Olympia.

It’s raining money… again

As a fiscal conservative I’m glad that the Senate supplemental operating budget will be funded within current revenue, without raising taxes. However, while there are many excellent services funded in this budget (such as mental health, special education, levy equalization and emergency services), my colleagues in the majority still are putting government first, taxpayers second.

Since the Legislature adjourned in April last year the amount of anticipated state revenue has grown by $1.5 billion. How often does state government have $1.5 billion free and clear, above what’s needed to maintain services and programs? At least some of those tax dollars should be going back to you, the taxpayer. You deserve property-tax relief and the $30 car-tabs Washington voters want. Instead, the majority Democrats want to spend this additional income without offering any major tax relief or reform whatsoever. Additionally, at the end of four years, this budget spends down our entire $2.4 billion surplus.

The chart below shows just how much the state has spent since 2013. If the Senate Democrat budget becomes law, the rate of government spending during Governor Inslee’s administration will hit two times the rate of wage growth: 80% vs. 40%!

money chard


SB 5601 on the move in the House

After months of preparation and hours of stakeholder meetings, I am very excited that Senate Bill 5601 took another critical step toward the governor’s desk this week when it received the endorsement of the House Health Care and Wellness Committee. This is the bill I’ve co-sponsored to deal with the regulation of health and pharmacy benefit managers.

Years of research, visiting with patients and learning about the impacts of access to care have led me to understand how these entities have had an increasingly negative impact on patient health and access to care, often denying what physicians have prescribed for their patients. This legislation seeks to regulate benefit managers, requiring registration and reporting provisions.

stampede queen

2020 Omak Stampede Queen Shelby White

Visitors from home

This week I had the chance to visit with several constituents and the 2020 Omak Stampede Queen (pictured above).

As always, it is a privilege to serve as your state senator. If you need anything, my office is here for you. I can be reached by phone at (360) 786-7612. Please feel free to visit any time.  I would love to see friendly faces from back home!