The following e-newsletter was sent to Sen. Gildon’s subscribers Jan. 9, 2024. To subscribe to Sen. Gildon’s email updates, click here.
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I hope this message finds you well. Our 2024 legislative session in Olympia is off to a busy start, with opening ceremonies in the House and Senate. Over the next two months, we’ll be tackling critical issues such as state budgets, public safety, education, and affordability.
As the deputy leader of the Senate Republican Caucus, I’m excited to be part of these important discussions. I want to provide you with a brief overview of the key topics we’ll be addressing this year:
- The Big Picture: In this short 60-day session, adjustments to last year’s budgets are on the agenda. Despite the limited timeframe, we are already facing a substantial number of bills. To date, there have been 725 new bills submitted this year, in addition to the hundreds of bills that are still viable from last year. Members will be working against tight deadlines to move bills through committees.
- Budgets: Negotiating the supplemental operating budget is a priority, especially concerning transportation spending. We’re grappling with significantly higher than expected costs for projects of all kinds; including the ferry system and culvert repair to allow fish passage. Our goal is to address these needs without compromising ongoing road projects, including the completion of Highway 167 in the 25th Legislative District.
- Public Safety: Addressing property crime, violent crime, and the growing drug crisis is a top focus for our caucus. We’re committed to shaping policy and providing sufficient resources to restore order and ensure community safety and well-being.
- Affordability: Rising prices for housing, gas, and groceries are affecting us all. We’ll continue seeking solutions to ease the burden on families and our economy while resisting calls for higher taxes.
- Education: The extended school closures during the COVID shutdown had a severe impact on student learning. We’re advocating for tutoring programs and catch-up measures as well as sufficient funding levels for our schools to allow them to hire and retain quality educators.
- Initiatives: A wildcard this year is a series of six initiatives challenging policies adopted in previous sessions. These initiatives cover law enforcement, taxation, and other crucial issues. I’ll share more details once signature counts are complete and they are presented before the Legislature.
Thank you for your continued support. I look forward to representing your interests and working towards positive outcomes for our community.
Senate page opportunities remain open for youths age 14 to 16
Do you know a high school student who would be interested in seeing our Legislature at work? The Senate page program offers youths ages 14 to 16 an opportunity to spend a week working at the state Capitol while the Legislature is in session. Senate pages carry messages between offices, spend time on the floor, and learn about the legislative process in a special page school. They earn a paycheck, too. Our office has a number of available slots for the 2024 session, and we encourage eligible students to apply. The last day to apply is Feb. 9. For more information, click here.
Thanks for reading — it is an honor serving you!
Sen. Chris Gildon, 25th Legislative District
Deputy Leader, Senate Republican Caucus
MAILING ADDRESS: P.O. Box 40425/ Olympia, WA 98504
LEAVE A MESSAGE ON THE LEGISLATIVE HOTLINE: 1-800-562-6000
NOTE: Written communications are subject to disclosure under the Washington Public Records Act.