July 13, 2015
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At last: Legislature finalizes budget deal, adjourns after six-month session

It took a long time, but the Legislature finally adjourned on Friday. In their final days, legislators voted to give Washington college students lower tuition, to invest in a better transportation system, and to give the K-12 educational system a $1.3 billion spending boost. Read more »

House, Senate pass $16.1 billion transportation package; the first major investment in a decade

Three years of bipartisan work culminated Friday in the passage of Washington's first transportation investment package in 10 years. The $16 billion transportation revenue and reform plan will invest in the roads and highways needed by both employers and commuters in every corner of the state.
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JBLM to lose 1,250 troops, far fewer than originally feared, as military downsizes

As the U.S. Army cuts back its forces by 40,000 troops over the next two years, Joint Base Lewis-McChord will see cuts of 1,250 active-duty soldiers. That's far fewer than had been feared.
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Contact Gov. Inslee, urge him to resist EPA pressure and move forward with Washington water quality rule

Newspapers across the state agree that Washington's new draft water quality rule increases protections for Washington residents and waterways. These new, higher standards are balanced and achievable. Contact Gov. Inslee's office and urge him to adopt the new state rules and send them to the Environmental Protection Agency for approval. Read more »

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Export-Import Bank helps employers compete globally

By U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) and Kris Johnson

With the creation of the U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank over 80 years ago, many Washington state businesses -- both large and small -- have remarkable success stories to tell about growing their businesses because of exports.

These stories can be found throughout the Washington state in a variety of industries. Take for example, Seattle's Lighthouse for the Blind, a manufacturer of machine parts and molding for aerospace companies. Because of its robust export business supported by the bank, it is able provide more than 400 good-paying jobs for Washingtonians in the deaf-blind community. ...

Congress must act to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank charter. The consequences of doing nothing would be devastating to employers and employees in Washington state and around the nation.

Click here to read the full op-ed in The Hill

Our Voice: Lawmakers make right choice supporting gas tax

By the editorial board of the Tri-City Herald

Voting in favor of a significant tax hike is not easy for lawmakers from conservative legislative districts.

So the Mid-Columbia legislators who approved an 11.9-cent gas tax increase should be commended for having the courage to make the right decision. ...

Tax hikes are tough to take, but at least in this case the Tri-City area will get some benefit from the new revenue.

And that is thanks to several Mid-Columbia lawmakers who made the right, but tough, choice...

Click here to read the full editorial in The Tri-City Herald
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