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Published on Friday, February 21, 2014

Opportunity knocks

There are less than three weeks left in session and the deadline has passed for bills to move from one chamber to the other. Therefore, many legislators are hosting their versions of Town Hall Meetings over the next week, with many scheduled for this Saturday, February 22. This means they’ll be back home wanting to share information with constituents on what’s happening in Olympia. It’s also their opportunity to hear what’s on your minds.

We’ve compiled a list of dates and locations for these meetings so that you can easily determine what’s happening in your area. It’s the perfect time – not too late and none too soon – to ask your legislators about these topics:

  • The House acted overwhelmingly last week to pass SHB 2244 that makes a move toward restoring funding to the critical Public Works Trust Fund. It awaits a hearing and consideration in the Senate. Will it pass?
  • The Senate held a hearing on SSB 5887 that aligns medical and recreational marijuana systems and provides first-ever marijuana revenue funding to help cities and counties. This funding helps ensure cities have the funds to provide an appropriate and responsive regulatory system. Will it pass and will this critical funding be made available?
  • Transportation infrastructure and revenue options are critical in many communities. There are conflicting reports on whether or not a Transportation Package might pass. Will it pass or not, and why?
  • Liquor revenues continue to flow to the state, but cities couldn’t even get a hearing scheduled in either the House or Senate on bills to slowly bring back revenues to cities. These city monies were capped two years ago and are critical to help cities of all sizes provide public safety services. We are frustrated. What can we do to advance this discussion?

I can’t emphasize strongly enough the importance of connecting with your legislators NOW, asking these kinds of questions and learning more about what matters most to them. The timing is critical because very soon, they’ll be asked to make some tough calls by legislative leadership and the Governor on fine-tuning expenditures for the rest of this biennium.

Let us know what you hear from your legislators. Any feedback you share is valuable to our ongoing advocacy efforts. Email reginaa@awcnet.org.