Letter from Olympia

Senator Hans Zeiger 25th District Letter from Olympia
bill2

Senate Bill 5218 was signed by Gov. Inslee on Monday. This bill will allow food truck vendors who have a valid permit in one jurisdiction to use that permit in another jurisdiction, if they meet certain requirements.

Letter from Olympia

Dear Neighbor,

The 2019 legislative session has come to a close. A lot happened in the final few days, and I wanted to update you on the final budget deal, which involved significant new taxes.

Taxes and Spending!

The operating budget, House Bill 1109, will spend over $52 billion in the next two years, including $800 million in new taxes. This budget was pushed through by Democratic majorities, and no Republican voted for it. Although it boosts spending on K-12 education, higher education and mental health, I believe we could have done the work that was needed without imposing dramatic tax increases on the citizens of our state. See the graphic below for more details on the 2019 session tax increases.

These tax increases were not necessary, especially since the state received unprecedented revenue and job growth. With a budget surplus, we should not have raised taxes. I voted in opposition to the operating budget.  

 

2019 Session Tax Increases

taxes1

Local projects funded in the capital budget

One budget that passed with bipartisan support was this year’s capital budget. Some of the projects that will benefit the 25th Legislative District include:

Chief Leschi Schools Safety & Security (Puyallup)

$250,000

Dawson Park Improvements (Tacoma)

$258,000

Step by Step – Van Lierop Farm campus (Puyallup)

$1.75 million

Culvert Replacement (Puyallup)

$515,000

Pioneer Way/WSU Puyallup Frontage Improvement (Puyallup)

$258,000

VFW Post 2224 Kitchen Renovation (Puyallup)

$52,000

Wapato Creek Restoration (Fife)

Pierce College Puyallup Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Building 

 

$258,000

$3.369 million

Progress on Highway 167

When I entered the legislature in 2011, one of my top priorities was to secure funding for the completion of Highway 167 from Puyallup to the Port of Tacoma. The legislature approved this funding in 2015. Subsequently, we had to push for a full interchange at Meridian and 167, which was finally included in the scope of the project in 2018. While construction starts on the long-delayed highway completion this year, the plan has been to make the completion a “pay as you go” project, so that it wouldn’t be finished until 2031. So my top transportation priority this session was to speed up the completion project. 

I am glad to report that in the final days of this year’s session, the legislature passed a transportation bill that includes an accelerated completion of Highway 167, allowing the Washington State Department of Transportation to complete this critical freight mobility project three years sooner than originally planned. You can read more about Senate Bill 5285 in the Tacoma News Tribune article here. By using bonds to accelerate both Highway 167 and Highway 509 (known together as the Puget Sound Gateway Project) and combining earlier toll revenues with inflation cost savings, WSDOT expects a net benefit of $147 million on this project.

With the passage of SB 5285, Highway 167 will be opened to traffic within the decade. The bill also sets a plan in motion for additional lanes on the existing stretch of 167 to and from Puyallup, allowing commuters to get to and from work more quickly and to spend more time with their families.

Contact Me

As always, I value hearing directly from you. If you would like to contact me, please call or email anytime.

Email: Hans.Zeiger@leg.wa.gov

Phone: (253)604-4792

Or stop by our legislative district office:

 101 South Meridian, Suite G. 

Puyallup, WA 98371

(Corner of Main Street and Meridian in downtown Puyallup)

Thanks for the privilege of serving as your state senator.

All the best,

signature