Thank you for your contribution to my re-election campaign this year. The election is finally over and I’ve somehow managed to get 69.27% of the votes. As you might imagine I’m pretty pleased about the outcome here, and your help made it possible.
For unbelievably good reasons campaign contributions are frozen from December 15th until after the legislative session is over, so please don’t force me to incur lots of accounting expense by sending me any money. I’ll just have to send it back.
There’s an ancient Chinese curse “May you live in interesting times” that I believe will apply to this year’s legislative session as we try to work out next year’s budget and respond to the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision on school funding.
My agenda for this year is simple to outline here, but I expect great difficulties in working through it:
- Produce a budget that balances, resolves the 2013-15 and 2015-17 McCleary decision, implements the Madicaid expansion envisioned in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), and projects rationally into the future.
- Inside the education box make some strategic decisions that enable our K-12 and higher education systems to be more productive, including
- More thoughtful allocation of proposed new K-12 spending to fund pre-school for at-risk three and four-year-old children. Most research in the field leads me to believe that this is a more optimum spending plan than what we are currently on a path to do.
- Create a strategy for how we fund and manage our higher education system so that a reasonable proportion of Washington students can learn the skills necessary to survive economically in the 21st century. Our current path is unattractive. I am concerned (optimistic?) about a radical dislocation in higher education driven by the Internet and think the state should do some planning.
- Take a step forward on transportation infrastructure, including finalizing how we will pay for the remainder of the 520 bridge project. (Tolling I-90 is the current plan, and there are not many alternatives.) There are other transportation projects that need to be considered as part of an overall plan, and the business community is pushing us to consider an increase in the gas tax to fund it.
As usual, I’ll try to write about policy developments on my blog at www.rosshunter.info, and will send out infrequent email updates. If I send them out too frequently you don’t read them, so I try to be careful. Of course when I do this they are tremendously long, but you can’t have everything.
Again, thank you for your support. I will endeavor to go out and earn it.