2020 Session adjourns

Legislative update from Olympia

banner new background

Dear Neighbor,

As the 2020 legislative session comes to a close, I want to thank everyone who has called, emailed and stopped by my office. I have heard from thousands of you this year on issues we are addressing in Olympia. I hope you continue to share your concerns and ideas with me throughout the year on subjects that are important to you and our community. I also want to let you know that as a result of the ban on large gatherings, we are canceling our upcoming town hall. Please see below for more information.  


Supplemental operating budget

On the last day of the 2020 session, we passed the supplemental operating budget. While there were several items funded in the budget which I endorse, ultimately, I was unable to support it on final passage Instead of providing tax relief to our residents, this proposal continues to grow the size and breadth of government. Our spending continues to grow exponentially, 20% in this biennium alone, outpacing the income growth of our citizens. This budget offers no property tax relief, does not implement I-976 and ignores the need for additional funding for public safety.

As I mentioned before, our communities continue to face an ever-increasing homeless population. Although we’re spending $145 million this biennium for services, I have concerns that we are not addressing the root of the problem. There are no measures in place to monitor the effectiveness of the services being provided nor do we offer real solutions in the way of affordable housing.

Homelessness is a complex issue and we should be focusing on effective ways to help the poor and keep those suffering from mental illness or addiction from being a risk to themselves.

We also need to be taking better care of those in nursing homes and those with developmental disabilities. While we do provide some funding for rate increases at our skilled nursing facilities we did not provide funding to eradicate our Developmentally Disabled (DD) waitlist. The bottom line is that this budget does not adequately fund these essential services.

As I mentioned, there are some good things included which I was happy to see:

  • We’re spending $175 million to combat the coronavirus.
  • We were able to fund Senate Bill 6570 which will provide grants to behavioral health and suicide prevention efforts for our law enforcement officers.
  • Funding was also included for the Parent-Child Assistance Program. This excellent program reduces the costs of welfare and foster care while promoting healthier lifestyles and reducing homelessness and unplanned pregnancies.
  • Additionally, this budget provides funding for the University of Washington’s, Partnership Access Line which has proven to be an important resource for parents to have children with behavioral health disorders;
  • Funding for an elk fencing project to provide safety for the Concrete School District
  • Funding to place a body scanner at the Monroe Correctional Complex and the Purdy Women’s Facility to increase contraband and drug detection
  • A tax cut for feminine hygiene products
  • Funding for the Sedro-Woolley State Route 2 trestle

Comprehensive sex education

Last week, I shared background on the comprehensive sexual health education bill (SB 5395) and why I am against this legislation. This past Saturday, the Senate once again passed this bill after it was amended by the House of Representatives. Before it was passed – again, along party lines – I spoke in the Senate chamber about why I strongly oppose this bill. Watch my speech to learn more.

Capital budget projects

This year, the following projects have been funded in our communities through the 2020 Supplemental Capital Budget:

  • Three (3) generators to help in the event of an emergency for the cities of Sultan and Index with one additional generator designated for mobile use in the Sky Valley
  • Skykomish Masonic lodge will also receive a generator and an exterior fire escape for use as an emergency shelter as well as their ongoing work as the local food bank
  • Funding for the city of Index’s ongoing engineering and work on their replacement water system
  • Sky Valley Teen Center in Sultan

Cancelled: Town hall

Last week, I shared with you that your 39th LD lawmakers would be hosting a post-session town hall meeting. We knew many of you would have questions for us, so we wanted to make ourselves available to answer them in person.

At the same time, we continued monitoring the latest developments surrounding the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Upon further reflection, however, and out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to cancel the town hall.

As always, it is a pleasure and an honor to represent you.



March 13, 2020

Let's Be Social! 

Follow me on Facebook to stay updated on the latest news from Olympia

Novel Coronavirus Outbreak (COVID-19)

With the recent outbreak of Coronavirus in our state, I wanted to share a link with detailed information from the Washington State Department of Health along with some helpful tips:

• Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds
• Stay home when you are sick
• Cover your coughs and sneezes with an elbow, sleeve or tissue
• Good personal health habits (diet/exercise) help prevent respiratory infections, including coronaviruses and influenza.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Wagoner’s ‘Dirty Dozen’ list of terrible, no good, very bad bills

Here is a compilation of very bad pieces of legislation introduced – or reintroduced this session. Not all of these bills passed, click on the links to learn more.

  1. SB 5395 (Sex ed)
  2. SB 6288 (Office of Firearm Safety)
  3. HB 2555 (Guns listed as other)
  4. SB 6492 (B&O Tax)
  5. HB 1110/HB 2957 (Reducing greenhouse gas emissions)
  6. SB 6586 (Per-mile tax)
  7. SB 5811 (Zero Emissions)
  8. SB 5562 (HIV)
  9. SB 5339 (Death Penalty Elimination)
  10. SB 5323 (Plastic Bag Ban)
  11. SB 6516 (32 Hour Work Week)
  12. SB 6455 (Children’s meal beverage)

Fun fact…

Each legislative update will highlight a fun fact about your 39th Legislative District State Senator!

Senator Keith Wagoner….

was once featured on the cover of a physical fitness book, Fit for Life; the Annapolis Way