Yesterday was the first day of the Special Session of the WA State Legislature. The House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing starting at 1:30 pm on the Governors proposed budget (http://www.ofm.wa.gov/budget12/default.asp).
There were an estimated 150 citizens on-hand to testify on the budget cuts and request the legislators consider the Governor’s proposed revenue package: (http://www.ofm.wa.gov/budget12/highlights/govrevoptions.pdf).
Several groups were there requesting the legislators eliminate funding for I-1163. The messages were reportedly well received; one representative shared that she was going to sponsor a bill to delay the initiative. We feel legislators need to hear from more of their constituents to ask for the delay. It requires a 2/3 vote to override an initiative approved by the voters and takes a lot of political courage to do so. We have to let legislators know that we have their backs!
Time is of the essence as this is a Special Session of the Legislature and they will be making these decisions in the very near future. Please call, e-mail or write to your local legislator today!
Getting Your Opinions to Your Legislators
Call the Legislative HOTLINE at 1-800-562-6000! During the Legislative session, the Hotline is open from 8AM to 8PM Monday through Friday and from 9AM to 1PM on Saturday.
Callers to the Hotline can leave a brief message for their district legislators or for the Governor or Lt. Governor on issues of concern or on questions they may have about bills or laws. These messages are forwarded electronically to the appropriate individuals. When leaving a message with the hotline, please be prepared to give your name and street address. Here is a message that you can use if you call the hotline, or develop a short concise message of your own with a theme consistent with HCAW’s message in the testimony below.
“Hello, My name is _________ and I live at ______________. I am calling in regards to HB 2127 – Making 2011-2013 fiscal biennium supplemental operating appropriations. I am very concerned about the deep cuts to seniors and developmentally disabled citizens proposed in this budget. Please consider eliminating the funding for Initiative 1163 in the Governor’s proposed budget. The $15 million for additional training would buy back a significant amount of care for our seniors and the developmentally disabled. We cannot afford this expensive and unnecessary initiative at a time when the state is making $2 billion in cuts to long term care services, health care and education. Thank you.”
If you prefer e-mail, you may use the website’s e-mail forms to send messages to your legislators at any time. From the Member E-mail List page, you may click a legislator’s name to go to the e-mail form for that legislator.
Office Addresses and Phone Numbers
Legislator phone numbers and office addresses are available on the individual member pages. Links to the member pages can be found on the House site, the Senate site or on the Member Roster lists.
Also, here is a good article in the Sunday Seattle Times regarding the Special Session and the state budget negotiations supporting overturning Initiative 1163: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/editorials/2016854311_edit27fixit.html