Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The 2016 legislative session came to an end on March 29. It feels great to be back in our community and enjoying all it has to offer.
The last two years of legislative sessions produced several accomplishments, including making historic investments in K-12 education, saving public charter schools, lowering college tuition, addressing problems in our mental health system, and helping the most vulnerable. These bipartisan solutions represent the best of our citizen Legislature.
My priorities as your state lawmaker have always been taking care of the great people of the 6th District, including more opportunities for economic and educational growth. These priorities are reflected in my bill sponsorship and voting record.
Leading the effort for nonprofit blind services
House Bill 2398, The Lighthouse Bill, was passed into law this legislative session. It simply affirms the current procurement process in include blind-made services and gives the disabled a level playing field by integrating everyone in our community. This affirmation will go into effect June 9, 2016.
(photo caption: From left to right: Rep. Marcus Riccelli, D-Spokane, Rep. Jeff Holy, R-Cheney, with Gov. Jay Inslee and staff of The Lighthouse for the Blind as House Bill 2398 is signed into law)
Funding projects around the 6th District
I was proud to work with fellow lawmakers this session to secure capital budget funding for projects around our District. These projects include:
- Airway Heights Recreation Complex – $200,000
This project includes installation of multi-use turf fields for soccer, softball and other field related sports as well as the installation of a trail system. This project benefits the public by increasing our Youth and Adult Sports programming to better serve our region, and providing local field space to reduce the amount of time and expense spent having to travel to find similar facilities and programs. As the city continues to grow, the demand for field space continues to increase.
- Property crime prevention in Spokane County – $300,000
Spokane County has seen an increase in property crime, due to the rise in drug addiction, lack of probation and supervision, reduced number of law enforcement officers, and the homeless crisis. These funds will assist in the purchase of automated license plate readers, cameras, materials to increase public outreach through crime prevention tips, and other tools to reduce these crimes.
2016 Session Highlights
Here are some highlights and accomplishments of the hard work put forth by your citizen Legislature:
- Passed supplemental operating, capital and transportation budgets (for more information, please click here.)
- Addressed the teacher shortage and enhancing teacher recruitment
- Provided visual screening for students
- Addressed Washington State Patrol recruitment, retention and pay raises
- Established the Washington Cybercrime Act
- Created the Parent to Parent Program – a statewide program that connects parents of individuals with developmental disabilities with support and resources
- Held state government accountable
Staying in touch
I thank you for taking the time to read my email updates. Please feel free to share these updates with your friends and family and encourage them to subscribe. While the legislative session is over, I'm your state representative year-round.
Because this is an election year, this will be the last email update I am able to send out until December. However, I can respond if you contact me directly. Please feel free to contact my office with your questions, comments or concerns. I look forward to hearing from you!
It is an honor to serve you.