Friday is an important deadline that I don’t want you to miss. It’s the last day that I can accept donations this year.
After Friday we will enter a contribution freeze period because the legislative session will start 30 days later. We will be unable to raise funds again until after session is over, which may be the end of March or even later.
That’s why I’m asking you to consider helping my campaign out today. Please click here to make an online donation today!
It’s important for me to continue to raise money to help fund important activities for which I can’t use legislative funds. I need to maintain tools and systems that need to be kept running even when we’re not in the middle of a campaign, such as this website and my email newsletter system. These and other tools along with staff support are vital for me to effectively communicate with my constituents.
But all these cost money. So today I’m asking you to consider chipping in to help me continue to do all I can to serve you.
Any amount helps–whether that’s $100, $50, $25, or just $10.
Thank you for your support! And, if you haven’t yet, please don’t forget to fill out my recent survey on health care. This is an example of the kind of two-way constituent communications I can continue to accomplish with your financial support.
There’s been so much in the news lately about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (aka: Obamacare) nationally as well as in our state.
Although problems with both the national and Washington state insurance exchanges created under the law are real, what concerns me the most are the countless stories of people who are losing their perfectly adequate health insurance despite profuse promises from politicians that they wouldn’t.
Here’s the reality: Right now, today in Washington people are seeing their health care plans get canceled. And some of these people are not getting a reasonable alternative plan from the Washington Healthplanfinder.
So today I want to ask you and other readers what your experience has been with the changes in health insurance. I already asked my Facebook followers this question. Several people had stories of insurance rates going up and\or plans being canceled.
I think this is a huge issue for my constituents but I want more information on the experience a wide range of people are having. So please, let me know your experience in the survey below and share this with your friends!
A lot has been happening lately. Today I want to focus on one of the hot button issues: Transportation. I want to give you an opportunity to share your views about a proposed transportation package — a very important topic in Washington right now.
Where We’re At:
During the legislative sessions earlier this year, the Legislature did not pass a comprehensive transportation package because the one pushed by the Governor and Democrats in the House included tax increases without major reforms to how we spend the existing dollars allocated to transportation. I and many other legislators believe that we need reforms before we look for more revenue, and the package that was being pushed did not meet that requirement. In the end, there was no agreement for any transportation package.
Since then there has been a lot of discussion about transportation. The State Senate just finished up its tour of the state where we invited citizens everywhere to join forums to talk about transportation issues. The general feeling is that now is the time to address these issues, though there has been no widespread agreement on a plan as-of-yet.
Special Session Comes and Goes
With very short notice, a couple weeks ago Governor Inslee called lawmakers back to a special session. The reason was to work on a couple of priorities that Boeing wanted the Legislature to pass in order for them to be willing to locate the production of the next generation 777X airplane in Washington. One of those priorities we passed through the Legislature.
The other priority was a Transportation package. However, many of us in the Legislature did not want to rush something so important as a transportation package in a short special session, whether or not the Governor or Boeing pushed for one. So we did not pass any package.
However, after session ended, the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus, of which I am a part, has been making progress on its plan and negotiations are ramping up. And that is where we need your input.
A few facts about the Senate transportation plan as of right now:
- The total package is $12.3 billion
- It includes a gas tax increase of 11.5 cents
- It includes some our priority reforms, including ensuring that sales tax dollars from road projects would go directly into the transportation budget.
- Many major projects will receive additional or complete funding, compared to less funding in the House transportation plan put forward earlier this year. The Senate package also includes money for ferry boat construction that is important to our area.
Negotiations are happening this month so today I want to give you another opportunity to share what matters most to you in the discussion about transportation.
Update from the 10th District
I want to take a moment to update you about a few things happening around here.
Annual Golf Tournament is a Success!
Our annual Golf Tournament Fundraiser was a success! I really enjoyed having a lot of supporters there. I think we all had a great time…thank you to those who were able to make it!
Barbara Receives Proud Partner Award for Higher Ed. Leadership
|Barbara receiving the Proud Partner Award|
I was also recently privileged to receive the Proud Partner Award from the Washington State Housing Finance Commission for my work helping to fund the Independent Colleges & Universities of Washington.
I’m really excited about seeing how our increased investment in Higher Education will pay off for our students and eventually for our state in the coming years. I will continue working for more reforms in education at all levels.
Recent Supreme Court Ruling on Skagit Basin Water Rights
I wanted to mention the recent ruling by the State Supreme Court on water rights in the Skagit Basin. There’s a lot that we don’t know right now in terms of the results of the ruling, but I am working with stakeholders to find solutions for the new problems we face because of the ruling. You can read more about what I’m working on here. You can also find out more about the ruling here.
|Barbara recognizing the Oak Harbor High School Wildcats football team captains.|
Support Jan Angel for State Senate, 26th District
Jan Angel (R) is running in a special election for State Senate in the 26th district (Gig Harbor/Port Orchard area) against Nathan Schlicher (D).
I support Jan and think she will make a great Senator. I had the privilege of serving with her when I was a Representative and know from firsthand experience that she is a person of honor and character who puts the good of her district and the state of Washington above all else in the performance of her duties.
Unfortunately, she is being assaulted by negative advertisements and characterizations. Jan needs your support. Please visit her Facebook page and her website at JanAngel.com to view her information and make a contribution if you feel moved to do so.
Thanks for reading. I hope you have a great weekend!
It’s not too late to sign up for my annual golf tournament at Whidbey Golf Club in Oak Harbor. I look forward to seeing friends and supporters and having a good time together.
For more details, to find out how to sign up or for sponsorship opportunities, please visit http://bbailey.net/golf2013.
Join me at a Transportation Forum in Everett Today!
I mentioned in a newsletter last month that I am very concerned about the state of our transportation infrastructure but that I believe without first reforming the way we spend taxpayer money we are doomed to make the mistakes of the past. Last week, I wrote an opinion piece explaining my views a little more and asking readers to join me for a transportation forum that will be held in Everetttoday from 6-9 PM.
You can read my opinion piece and find more details about this event by clicking here. I know this meeting is a bit of a drive away for many of you, but I encourage you to join me if you can because of how important it is for 10th District citizens to make their transportation needs known.
New I-5 Skagit River Bridge is Open
Speaking of transportation, Sunday saw the opening of the new permanent span across the Skagit River on I-5. As you know, the temporary span was put in place in June with reduced freeway speeds. As of Sunday afternoon, the roughly 900 ton permanent span was in place and the bridge was reopened. It’s great news, but there still is work to be done. There will be additional nighttime bridge closures in the future as the bridge’s overhead supports are worked on.
You can find more information and watch a time lapse video of the bridge span installation by clicking here.
One last note…
There’s a little more good economic news to be mentioned again. Last month we learned that there were tens of millions in additional tax revenue beyond what was expected. Last week we heard a similar story: $65 million more revenue was brought in to the state than was expected between August 11th and September 10th. The total additional money brought in beyond what was expected back in June is now $116.1 million.
Now, I don’t think that this news is groundbreaking–however, it is further confirmation to me that we did good work in the Legislature by avoiding countless new taxes and fees that were proposed (188, according to the Washington Policy Center). In the end we were able to add over a billion dollars to K-12 education without major tax increases.
This, I believe, was the most significant victory of the new direction we brought to the State Senate.
The road ahead for our state won’t be easy–and we won’t always have positive economic news. But we have already seen that the model of additional taxes, spending and regulations is not needed in order to make Washington a better place.
All my best,