Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I believe communication is very important to the people I serve. So that's why I send out these e-mail updates. It's a great way to reach you and other constituents with important news and information affecting our district and state. But election-year restrictions limit my ability to send out these electronic updates unless you agree to continue receiving them. If you want to continue receiving these e-mail updates, do nothing and I will keep you on the list. If you do not wish to continue receiving these updates, please click here and choose “leave” to remove your name from this list.
We're back in session!
The opening gavel of the 2012 legislative session fell today, marking the beginning of a scheduled 60-day session in Olympia. This session begins only three weeks from when we adjourned Dec. 14 after a 17-day special session that was concentrated on closing a $2 billion budget shortfall. As it turns out, only a partial solution of $480 million in reductions and fund transfers was approved. That means the Legislature is still facing a $1.5 billion budget gap that it needs to close. I expect much of the session will once again be focused on solving our state's budget problems. I will continue to fight for funding support of education and protection of our state's most vulnerable citizens, including children and senior citizens.
Redistricting Commission redraws legislative boundaries
The Washington State Redistricting Commission recently adopted a plan to redraw lines for legislative and congressional districts. There are substantial changes to the 14th District that will take effect for the November election this year.
In an effort to create a minority-favored district, the commission moved the boundaries of our neighboring 15th District to include Selah, Union Gap and a larger portion of Yakima that is now in the 14th District. It narrowed the 15th District into an area that has a higher Hispanic population. It then expanded the boundaries of the 14th District to take in Klickitat and Skamania counties, which are currently a part of the 15th District, and a portion of Eastern Clark County. The 14th District redistricting plan still includes a sizable part of the city of Yakima and maintains Naches, Tieton and its original points east into White Pass. But the new 14th District will now expand down to the southern border of the state along the Columbia River Gorge.
Here is the final legislative map unanimously adopted by the bipartisan commission after a year-long process. I've also included a map at the right showing the new district boundaries for the 14th and 15th districts, as well as a map with some detail of the Greater Yakima area. If you would like to compare the changes, you can find a map of the current district boundaries here.
The final detailed report to the Legislature will be published today. The Legislature may make minor adjustments within 30 days, but does not vote on the overall plan. After this, with or without changes, the redistricting plan becomes law. The new districts will take effect for the November election this year.
I'm here to serve you!
It is my greatest honor to serve you in the Legislature. I want to encourage you to contact my office any time you have questions, concerns or suggestions. My new legislative assistant, Gale Sackman, will be happy to take your calls. You're also welcome to e-mail me or send me a letter.
Gale is from Yakima, so when the legislative session finishes, I plan to open a district office in the local area to more conveniently serve your needs. She will be staffing that office.
During the legislative session, you may reach me in the following manner:
Office phone: (360) 786-7810
Toll-free message hotline: 1-800-562-6000
Address: P.O. Box 40600, Olympia, WA 98504-0600
E-mail address: email@example.com
Also, be sure to check my Web site for news, audio and video programs, and more: houserepublicans.wa.gov/Johnson.
Thank you for allowing me to serve you!