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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Now that the 2016 general election is behind us, I can resume sending you these email updates. Under the provisions of a 1991 law created by Initiative 134, there are limits on what and when I can contact you during an election year. This “freeze” on communications has since lifted, allowing me to communicate with you via these newsletters once again.
During the past few months, I've had the privilege of being back home, meeting with our communities to discuss some pressing issues we face. Among those was concern that the I-90/SR 18 interchange improvement project may be too little too late since the project isn't slated to be fully funded and begin until 2023. Commuters in the area know what a dangerous bottleneck this is. In fact, just in July a collision shut down the interstate for several hours and resulted in some serious injuries. Many have told me 2023 is simply too long to wait, and I agree. Last week, I met with Roger Millar, Secretary of Transportation for the Washington State Department of Transportation, to discuss moving up that timeline to as early as 2019. I'm optimistic and will continue prioritizing this major point of congestion into the 2017 legislative session.
Last week, lawmakers were back at the state Capitol participating in pre-session committee meetings. In addition to discussing issues expected to be before the Legislature during the upcoming session, last week was also a time for caucuses to meet to discuss priorities heading into 2017. We are committed to working on solutions for the problems facing Washingtonians and will continue our efforts to:
- provide our students with a world-class education;
- empower working families and strengthen local economies and communities; and
- protect taxpayers by holding state agencies accountable.
Rep. Jay Rodne, left, and Rep.-elect Paul Graves, right, – both of the 5th Legislative District – participate in a House Health Care and Wellness Committee meeting Dec. 1, 2016.
The 2017 legislative session will begin Jan. 9. As the holidays approach, please stay in touch. In order to be an effective voice for you, it's important I hear from you. I encourage you to continue contacting my office with your questions, ideas and concerns.
Wishing you and yours a happy holiday season!
420 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7852 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000