Funding our mental health system We’ve increased funding for the state mental health system by 23 percent since the 2013-15 biennium. This includes more than $57 million to help reduce single bed certifications, $49.6 million for increased community evaluation and treatment beds and $7.6 million for a 30 bed civil commitment ward at Western State... Read More...
Tuition cuts for moms, dads, & their grads Tuition cuts in Washington buck a national trend We proved that more taxes were not required to reduce college tuition or improve education funding. Our budget funded a second round of tuition cuts for Washington state colleges and universities. No other state in the nation has seen tuition costs go down,... Read More...
Why did the state release prisoners early and how was it allowed to continue? Washingtonians weren’t given the whole picture as to why the Department of Corrections would knowingly allow prisoners to be released early.  But that picture has become much more complete thanks to the Senate Law and Justice Committee investigation.  You can read about what happened and why and what was wrong with the governor’s... Read More...
DOC drops contract with vendor exposed by Senate investigation The Washington Department of Corrections announced today that it will not renew a contract with information technology vendor Assessments.com.  The troubling history of Assessments.com was exposed during Senate hearings on the Department of Corrections’ early-release-of-prisoners scandal.  Numerous witnesses testified in Senate hearings that the vendor favored by former Secretary Bernie... Read More...
2016 Session Review The 2016 Legislature adjourned for the year following a brief special session to complete an update of our two-year state budget. The House originally proposed a large tax increase and spending down emergency reserves, but the Senate urged a different approach. The result: a bipartisan supplemental budget that provides strategic... Read More...
New Program to Reduce Veteran Unemployment Washington is home to more than 340,000 working-age veterans. And fortunately for us, our community has the largest number of working-age veterans in the state. However, our state has a higher veteran unemployment rate than the rest of the nation. That’s why I authored legislation that created the first-ever, statewide... Read More...
Improving veterans’ employment and health care The men and women who serve in our military protect us overseas. We need to make sure they’re treated well at home.  This year, legislation I authored will encourage the hiring of veterans and the reduction of unemployment for those who served this country. Starting October 1st, employers will be... Read More...
Dysfunction at Western State Hospital Escapes at Western State Hospital left the public in danger and led to a statewide manhunt to apprehend an individual responsible for a brutal slaying. Fortunately, authorities were able to recapture all escapees before anyone else was victimized. But this is only the latest symptom of the disarray at Western... Read More...
Improving traffic along the JBLM/I-5 Corridor As your state senator, one of my goals has always been to see traffic improve on the JBLM/I-5 corridor. The military base is our county’s largest employer. Improving access to and from the base is key to maintaining the military’s commitment to current force levels and the 1000’s of military... Read More...
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