About 200 people turned out for the Saturday morning townhall with the state legislators from the 37th. Most of the presentations and questions centered on the proposed cuts to the Washington State budget with an emphasis on the social safety nets and education, along with a few regarding environmental issues. The sentiment of the group was high on identifying additional sources of revenue through doing away with special interest tax breaks. Unfortunately, time constrains did not allow for much of a conversation and followup questions. For instance, the group was reminded that few in the room would want to to do away with the tax exemption on food or prescription drugs with no opportunity to inquire if there were areas where as a group we might be able to successfully lobby to eliminate some tax exemptions.
The representatives all seem to be hard working, knowledgeable, and wanting to do the right thing, and all definitely delivered the message that these are tough financial times in Olympia. Since most of the audience was already aware of this fact, it was a little disappointing that there wasn’t a chance for more conversation. Too much time was first taken with attempts to solve sound system problems, and the structure of the meeting limited the number of issues addressed. Constituents are obviously interested in these meetings, and past the townhalls have sometimes offered more chance to hear discussions on a wider variety of issues, albeit they may not have been as well attended.
All took individual questions later and invited constituents to contact them as noted below.
Washington State Legislators for 37th Legislative District:
State Rep. Eric Pettigrew (D)
Olympia phone: (360) 786-7838 or email [email protected]
State Rep. Sharon Tomiko-Santos (D)
Olympia phone: (360) 786-7944 or email [email protected]
State Sen. Adam Kline (D)
Olympia Office: (360) 786-7688 or email [email protected]