Friday, January 23, 2009

Dispatches from the Capital

As a regular feature of our blog, we'll try to provide readers a more direct link to their legislators, a behind-the-scenes approach bringing you thoughts, observations, and the news that falls through the cracks elsewhere.

Turning the spotlight to Rep. Steve Conway, who represents portions of Parkland, Lakewood, University Place, and South Tacoma in the 29th LD. Here are his thoughts on the '09 legislative session so far:
"If there is one single issue dominating our attention, it’s the budget deficit. Estimated to be upwards of $5 billion, that’s nearly 20 percent of our state budget. On Monday we began to consider our options in the Ways & Means committee – the primary committee that shapes our final budget. So many important programs are threatened with termination, ranging from Readiness to Learn programs for kids, to major cuts to basic health care for adults.

We also got our first glimpse into two very important documents: the emergency job-creation stimulus packages proposed by Governor Gregoire and newly elected President Obama. Both include plans to improve unemployment insurance and workforce training options this year. The President’s plan also includes efforts to help the unemployed with health insurance.

These initiatives must be our first priority in both Olympia and Washington D.C. As Chair of the House Commerce and Labor committee, I’ve begun hearings and discussions on the Governor’s unemployment insurance proposal this week. In the days and weeks ahead, I invite all of you to share your thoughts, ideas, and concerns with me. I want to hear from those of you most affected by this economic downturn."
Rep. Conway can be reached at: 360-786-7906 or