Dear Friends and Neighbors,
In my last email update, I mentioned the possibility of the Legislature not passing a capital budget this year if a bill to fix the damage caused by the state Supreme Court's Hirst decision was not passed first.
Unfortunately, that possibility became reality when the clock ran out on the third special session and we adjourned on July 20. Despite the longest legislative session in state history — 193 days — we failed to pass a capital budget for the first time in our state's history. That means billions in local infrastructure projects are on hold, including tens of millions for projects in the 26th District. Also on hold is any relief for landowners across our state who have been denied access to water on their underdeveloped property.
While the Senate passed a bipartisan Hirst-“fix” bill four separate times this session, House Democrats opted to propose a temporary 24-month “fix” instead. It's clear, however, that any temporary solution will not work. Landowners need certainty, as do city planners, bankers, developers, etc. Without certainty, development is almost impossible. The failure of some top lawmakers to grasp the importance of what is likely the most consequential property rights decision in our state's history is incredibly disappointing. However, I'm hoping negotiators will come back to the table at some point in the coming months and hash out a compromise. If they can do that, we'll be called back to Olympia to vote and put an end to this ongoing saga.
Upcoming in-district events
There are three events coming up next month that I wanted you to be aware of.
1. Veterans dental event
On Sept. 1, Dr. Ron Schoepflin will be opening his office and donating services (cleanings, exams and x-rays) to United States military veterans and their families. If you know of a veteran in need of dental services, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment. Appointments must be scheduled prior to Sept. 1.
- When: Friday, Sept. 1 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Where: 6500 SE Mile Hill Road, Port Orchard, WA 98366
- What: Dentists will provide free cleanings, exams and x-rays to veterans and their families who make less than the average income in Port Orchard.
I will be volunteering for the event and look forward to seeing you there!
2. Public hearing to reconsider a proposal to build a new Harrison Medical Center hospital in Silverdale.
On Sept. 8 at 10:30 a.m., the state Department of Health (DOH) will hold a reconsideration hearing regarding the department's approval of CHI Franciscan Hospital's certificate of need application earlier this year. If DOH's original decision remains unchanged, 242 licensed beds will be relocated from Harrison Bremerton to Harrison Silverdale, and the East Bremerton hospital will eventually be closed. I believe such a move would cause hardships for our most vulnerable residents in Bremerton, and have been working closely with Rep. Sherry Appleton, Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent and Bremerton City Councilman Richard Huddy to prevent this from happening. I urge you to join us at the hearing and make your voice heard.
- When: Friday, Sept. 8 beginning at 10:30 a.m.
- Where: 134 Marion Avenue North, Bremerton, WA 98312 (in the Board Room of the Bremerton School District Office)
- What: On May 19, 2017, the DOH issued Certificate of Need (CN) #1601 to CHI Franciscan Health. CN #1601 would approve the relocation of 242 acute care beds from Harrison Medical Center's Bremerton campus to its Silverdale campus. On June 15 and June 16, 2017, the DOH received a total of three requests to reconsider the May 19 issuance of CN #1601. On July 17, 2017, the department granted reconsideration.
3. League of Women Voters event: “Finding Common Ground”
On Sept. 26 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., I will join Rep. Sherry Appleton at the Norm Dicks Government Center in Bremerton to discuss our records of reaching across the aisle as state legislators.
- When: Tuesday, Sept. 26 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
- Where: Norms Dicks Government Center, 345 6th St., Ste. 500, Bremerton, Washington 98337
- What: Part of the League of Women Voter's program this year is civil political discourse. I look forward to sitting down with Rep. Appleton for a great night of conversation as we reflect on this past session and ones before it.
As always, I welcome you to contact me with your comments, questions and concerns. My email address is email@example.com, and my phone number is (360) 786-7802. I'm also happy to meet with you in district.
It is an honor to serve as your state representative.