News from the Skagit County Democrats

Posted on April 2nd, 2023

Skagit County Democrats Action Newsletter for April 3, 2023



1. UPDATEDLegislative Committee Report for April 3
With the State Legislature in session our Legislative Committee is hard at work going through as many bills as possible to make sure we keep you well informed. To those ends we will be doing something different this week, reviewing the budget process.
“Washington is the only state in the nation with a requirement to balance its budget over four years, and that strong fiscal governance has made our state more resilient as we face today’s economic uncertainty and stubborn inflationary pressure,” said Senator Christine Rolfes, Chair of the Ways and Means Committee.

Washington State funds government expenses through the budget process. The state government operates on a fiscal biennium that begins on July 1 of each odd-numbered year. A two-year biennial operating budget is adopted every odd-numbered year. The House and the Senate will each produce three budgets: operating, capital and transportation. These documents begin as the Governor’s request budgets. The budgets go through the committee process and will be passed by each house of origin, then negotiations between the House and Senate will result in the final budgets.

HB 1140 (SB5187) Operating Budget
Appropriations are made in the biennial and supplemental budgets for the operation of state government and its various agencies and institutions, including higher education, as well as allocations for the funding of K-12 public schools. Near General Fund-Outlook appropriations for the 2023-25 biennium are $70.4 billion. (Near General Fund-Outlook is General Fund-State, the Education Legacy Trust Account, the Opportunity Pathways Account, and the Workforce Education Investment Account). Total budgeted funds are $129.7 billion (includes state, federal, and other funds).

HB1147 (SB5200) Capital Budget
The Legislature authorizes expenditures for capital needs in the State Omnibus Capital Appropriations Act (Capital Budget) for a two-year period, and it authorizes bond sales through passage of a bond bill associated with the Capital Budget to fund a portion of these expenditures. The Capital Budget includes appropriations for the acquisition, construction, and repair of capital. HB 1147 assets such as state office buildings, prisons, juvenile rehabilitation centers, residential habilitation centers, mental health facilities, military readiness centers, and higher education facilities. The Capital Budget also funds a variety of environmental and natural resource projects, parks and recreational facilities, public kindergarten through grade 12 school construction, and grant and loan programs that support housing, public infrastructure, community service facilities, and art and historical projects.

HB 1125 (SB5162) Transportation Budget
Appropriations totaling $12.2 billion are made for state transportation agencies and programs for the 2023-25 fiscal biennium from a number of transportation accounts. Capital-related appropriations total $5.9 billion, and operating-related appropriations total $6.3 billion. Appropriations for the fiscal biennium include: $8.8 billion for the Washington State Department of Transportation; $1.8 billion for debt service; $708 million for the Washington State Patrol; and $447 million for the Department of Licensing.

For a deeper dive into the budgeting process, Click Here.

2. STILL URGENTTruck Volunteers Needed to Help with the Spring Garage Sale
We need trucks to transport from storage to the Fairgrounds and then take what doesn't sell back to storage:

  • Wednesday, Apr 5 – from around 9:00am to 2:00pm (ballpark time)
  • Friday – Apr 7 – from about 3:00pm -5:00pm (also ballpark time)
  • Saturday, Apr 8 – from 4:00pm until our garage sale space is empty

Please call Sheila (360-899-4220 or volunteer or with questions.

3. Spring Garage Sale, Friday and Saturday, Apr 7 and 8, 9:00am – 4:00pm, Skagit County Fairgrounds, 501 Taylor Street, Mount Vernon
Thanks to all of you who have donated for our space at the garage sale. We are filling our storage areas with fun, interesting, and in some cases unidentifiable, items. Please keep them coming! The deadline for donations is Tuesday, Apr 4.

We cannot take everything, so here are some guidelines:

  • Clothing accessories (i.e., hats, gloves) are fine but no clothing (dresses, suits, coats, etc)
  • We don't have space for large pieces of furniture.
  • Please make sure any mechanical or electronic donation works

We are accepting donations at our office – location above. Our hours are Mon-Thu, 12:00-4:00. Please call 360-336-1555 with questions or to arrange an off-hour time to drop off donations.

4. NEWSkagit County Democrats are hosting a discussion on "HB 1155: the fight for strong protections for health data", Wednesday, Apr 5, 6:30pm – 7:30pm, via Zoom
Click Here for the Zoom link. Meeting ID: 815 1425 5020 – Passcode: 487359. "My Health My Data (HB1155) provides privacy protections for consumer health care which isn't covered by HIPAA today — including apps, advertisers, retailers, search engines, and wearables like FitBit and Apple Watch. It also protects location data that shows somebody's attempting to receive health services — especially important to protect visitors from Idaho and other states that criminalize abortion, pregnancy outcomes, or gender-affirming care. These protections are long overdue and especially important in today's post-Roe world. Unfortunately, industry lobbyists worked with corporate Democrats in the House to replace the original bill with a watered-down substitute. The Senate Law & Justice committee improved it significantly but there is still a long way to go to get back to the original strong protections.

This session will cover what's in the bill, why it matters, where improvements are needed, and our strategy for the last few weeks of the session. We'll wrap up with an interactive discussion on how best to influence Skagit's legislators. Presenters will stay around afterwards for additional discussion and Q&A. Presenters will include Christine Kohnert of Indivisible Skagit; Maya Morales, founder of WA People's Privacy; and Jon Pincus of The Nexus of Privacy, who's been Indivisible's point person on privacy for the last several years."

5. NEWThe Fidalgo Democrats meet Tuesday, Apr 10, 7:00pm, Anacortes Public Library, 1220 10th Street, Anacortes
"Increasing Social Trust in Our Divided Times" – a discussion with Rev. Terry Kylo and Upper Skagit Elder Kay Knott. "We do ask that all who attend in person be fully vaccinated. Masks will be required. Covid, colds and flu are still out there. If you aren’t vaccinated or are feeling unwell, please stay home. The meeting will be recorded and posted on YouTube a little later in the week. There will be time for questions following the presentations. Coffee and cookies will be served." If you have any questions call Barbara Cooper at 360 293-4123.

6. NEWThe next Skagit County Democrats Executive Board Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Apr 13, 6:30pm via Zoom
Click Here for the Zoom link.

7. NEWSo-Called Fully Contained Communities (FCCs) continue to be an issue in Skagit County
Watch this 69-second video, "Essential Housing for Essential Workers", produced by Indivisible Skagit's Housing 4 Skagit Action Team. You can contact them at to get involved. For more information on the issues, visit Right Growth/Right Place.

8. Skagit County Democrats is again requesting anyone visiting our Headquarters to "mask up"

9. NEWLinks of the Week
The Links of the Week provide in-depth pieces and resources the Editor has found to be relevant, insightful, and thorough on important issues of the day.


1. NEW2023 Tulip Festival Traffic Advisory
April 1st officially kicks off Skagit County’s 2023 Tulip Festival. This is an exciting and busy time for our community, with thousands of visitors visiting local tulip fields throughout the month of April. Click Here for more information. Click Here for a guide to visiting the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival and what each tulip farm offers.

2. NEWThe League of Women Voters of Washington present ACTviaZoom, Monday, Apr 3, 10:00 – 11:00am
"Betty Carteret, (Anacortes) will detail benefits in the federal Inflation Reduction Act of interest to Americans, especially homeowners, but this important legislation has impact for us all. Betty is current director of Citizens Climate Lobby for Skagit County. Register Here for a link, or use ID 893 7078 8656, password 537748 to enter. ACTviaZoom is open to League members and others interested in learning more about legislation, primarily focused on WA State."

3. NEWSkagit County Easter Egg Hunts

  • 29th Annual Spring Garage Sale, Antiques, Easter Egg Hunt & More – April 7-8: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. – $5 – Skagit County Fairgrounds, 501 Taylor Street, Mount Vernon
  • Country Meadow Village's annual Easter Egg Hunt – April 07, 2023, 02:00pm – 03:00pm – Free – Country Meadow Village, 1501 Collins Rd., Sedro-Woolley
  • Easter Egg Hunt – April 8: 10 a.m. – All Inspire Church locations – See the Inspire Church website for locations
  • Easter Egg Hunt – April 8: 10:30 a.m. – Jungle Playland – 2901 Martin Road, Mount Vernon
  • Ovenell’s Heritage Inn Easter Egg Hunt – April 8: 1 p.m. – Ovenell’s Heritage Inn, 46276 Concrete Sauk Valley Road, Concrete
  • Kiwanis Kids and Teen Egg Hunt – April 8 – Maiben Park – 1011 Greenleaf Avenue, Burlington – 10 a.m.
  • Wildcat Steelhead Club and City of Sedro Woolley River Front Park Egg Hunt – Saturday, April 08, 2023, 1:00pm – 2:30pm
  • Sedro-Woolley Museum Easter Egg Hunt – FREE – Saturday, April 08, 2023, 1:00pm – 3:00pm – 725 Murdock Street, Sedro Woolley
  • Causland Park Community Easter Egg Hunt – April 9: 1 p.m. – Free – Causland Park, 1116 8th Street, Anacortes

4. NEWThe 36th Annual Kiwanis Club of La Conner Not So Impromptu Tulip Parade, Saturday, Apr 8, 2:00pm – 3:30pm, First Street, downtown La Conner
"Join in the fun as a spectator or participant. No entry is too small; wacky impromptu entries welcome. Line up for the parade in the Port of Skagit complex. Entry forms here."

5. Scam Alert – Please be aware that there is a current scam going targeting Spanish speaking folks in our community
Thank you to our WIC program for letting us know and thank you to the MVSP for responding to our inquiry quickly. Please be aware and let Spanish-speaking clients, friends and family to NEVER give personally-identifying information, bank info, bitcoins, gift cards or other information or money to someone who calls and threatens them. Seniors and people with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to these scams.

From MVPD Crime Prevention Sergeant Ben Green: We have been seeing an uptick in Phone call scams targeting individuals by claiming they are from US Border Patrol or a Law Enforcement agency demanding money be paid in Bitcoin or gift cards to get rid of a warrant for their arrest. [Here are] a couple of articles about those and some tips for folks: "Scammers pretend to be U.S. Customs and Border Protection" and "CBP Warns Against Phone Scams".

Identity Theft Prevention Resource in Spanish: The MVPD has some informational booklets in Spanish that help individuals with preventing and responding to attempted identity theft. To get booklets to distribute, contact Ben Green, Crime Prevention Sergeant for the Mount Vernon Police Department: 360-336-6271. If you hear about these scams, please report to your city's police department! Local law enforcement want our Spanish-speaking neighbors to be safe in our communities.

6. No More Bombs continues to protest on the viaduct over I-5 the 1st and 3rd Fridays of the month
Hours continue to be 3:00pm – 4:00pm at the overpass above the Skagit Valley Food Co-op. We’ll have our “NO NUKES” banner plus American, Ukrainian, and Peace flags. Join us! Ample parking is available on Fulton Street near the old YMCA. If the weather is inclement, we cancel. Write to if in doubt about weather.

7. The National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington is hosting their Annual Candidate Training for Women and Non-Binary Individuals
"National, state, and local campaign experts will help current, and future candidates, campaign managers, and community leaders learn the ins and outs of running for office. This training is perfect for anyone planning or thinking about running for office as well as for those who prefer to be the heroes behind the scenes as campaign staff or volunteers! Please share with your members and network to help increase the number of pro-choice candidates in public office by supporting our mutually crucial political work."

Links to training registration pages are below! We hope to see some great candidates there!
Online Campaign Training – Saturday, April 15, 2023 – 9 am – 5 pm

8. The Skagit County AARP TaxAide Program provides FREE tax preparation
"The Skagit AARP TaxAide program offers free tax return preparation, and tax consultation for most low- and middle-income tax situations. [Including for seniors] It is an all-volunteer community operation, sponsored by the AARP Foundation with Spanish language support from Goodwill. Your tax return is prepared by IRS certified tax preparers (called counselors), who must recertify annually. If you are interested in accessing our free tax preparation service, familiarize yourself with our process and call one of the sites for an appointment. Due to the pandemic, access to Skagit AARP TaxAide services will be limited so be sure to make your appointment early! Once we run out of appointments, you will have to find another way to get your tax return done." Click Here for more information.

9. COVID-19 Information
Click Here for the most current report and resources.


1. Anacortes Sunday Demonstrations
Democrats are again demonstrating in Anacortes each Sunday, 12:00pm – 1:00pm at the corner of 12th Street and Commercial Avenue. "We carry signs for Dem candidates, get out and vote signs, women's right-to-chose in healthcare and so on and so on. We need more people to show up."

2. Coffee & Cards, Wednesdays, 10:00am – 12:00pm, Skagit County Democrats Headquarters, 2021 East College Way, Suite 104, Mount Vernon
Coffee and Cards meets on Wednesdays from 10:00am – 12:00pm. This is the group that was previously led by Carol Sullivan and is now lead quite capably by Judy Farrar. The group is a way for us to express ourselves about issues of importance to us all.  

We will write messages of encouragement and support to people who are making positive contributions as well as messages of concern and opposition to people who are negatively impacting our world. This includes legislators on the local, state, and federal level as well as CEOs of corporations and other people having a significant impact in our world. We will share ideas for people to write to and issues to address.  

Postcards and stamps will be provided, but we ask that people bring money to cover the cost of the postcard stamps which are currently $.44. Coffee will be provided or bring your own. As Carol always reminded us, “We are stronger together.” Our office is located at 2021 East College Way, Suite 104, Mount Vernon, 360-336-1555."
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