News from the Skagit County Democrats
Skagit County Democrats Action Newsletter for April 24, 2023
1. NEW – All April Special Election Ballots need to be in by Tuesday, Apr 25!
See Below for more information.
2. UPDATED – Legislative Committee Report
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. Please review the following bills and express your support to your elected officials.
“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.
HB1140 (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.
HB1125 (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.
3. NEW – The 39th Legislative District Democrats General Membership Meeting (and Luncheon) is Sunday, Apr 30, 12:00pm – 2:00pm, Smokey Point Buzz Inn, 5200 172nd Street Northeast, Arlington
This is an in-person meeting. Agenda includes voting on early endorsements.
4. The most recent meeting of the Fidalgo Democrats, "Increasing Social Trust in Our Divided Times", can now be viewed on YouTube (Click Here).
5. 2023 Congressional Art Competition
"Each spring, the U.S. House of Representatives holds a nationwide high school arts competition . . . The Congressional Art Competition is open to all high school students who live or attend school in the Second District. The winner of our district's competition will be displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol with winning pieces from around the country . . . Artwork must be submitted no later than Monday, May 1, at 5:00 p.m. PT. If you wish to submit your artwork in person or need to make other arrangements, please call 425-252-3188 to schedule an appointment." Click Here for more information.
6. Skagit County Democrats is again requesting anyone visiting our Headquarters to "mask up"
7. NEW – Links 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.
- Gun Violence Is Actually Worse in Red States. It’s Not Even Close
- Motion and emotion and planning are linked in the brain, new research shows
- Childhood vaccines for measles, polio and more are missed by millions
- World could face record temperatures in 2023 as El Nino returns
- Twitter once muzzled Russian and Chinese state propaganda. That's over now
1. The monthly Planned Parenthood rally is Saturday, May 6, 11:00am – 12:00pm, on the sidewalk in front of the Mount Vernon Health Center, 1805 East Division Street, Mount Vernon
Bring your signs, your friends, your family, and your masks. To RSVP, sign up here.
2. NEW – Friends of the Burlington Library Book Sale, Friday, Apr 28, 10:00am – 4:30pm and Saturday, Apr 29, 10:00am – 3:00pm, Burlington Public Library, 820 East Washington Avenue, Burlington
"Browse from a great selection of used books, movies, CDs, and magazines for all ages at low prices. All proceeds go toward the Burlington Public Library and library programs."
3. FCCs are up for Consideration – Again!
"Two previously deferred proposals (LR20-04 and LR22-02) to amend Skagit County’s Comprehensive Plan to allow Fully Contained Communities (FCCs)–huge housing developments on rural lands–are on the list of petitions to be considered for the County’s 2023 planning docket. Skagit citizens across the political spectrum have consistently demonstrated widespread opposition to FCCs. The County’s own Planning Department recommends that these petitions be EXCLUDED from the 2023 Docket. Let’s tell the County Commissioners that we agree with the Planning Department: It is time to fully exclude these lingering, and legally flawed proposals from consideration." Click Here for more information.
4. Anacortes Safety Staffing and Skagit Hospital District 1 (Skagit Regional Health) Levy Lifts
Ballots are out! They must be returned by Tuesday, April 25. If mailed, they must be in the mail by April 17. You can register in person up to 8:00pm, Tuesday, April 25. For more information, go to the Skagit County Auditor's Election Page. Below is the timeline for this election.
- April 5 – Domestic ballots mailed
- April 17 – Deadline to register or update existing registration online and by mail
- April 25 – Deadline for in-person registration and voter updates – Closes 8:00 PM
- April 25 – Primary Election – Closes 8:00 PM
- May 2 – Canvassing Board Meeting, Initial Review – 1:30 PM
- May 5 – Primary Election Certification – 1:30 PM
5. 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."