Republican Reps. Gary Alexander and J.T. Wilcox are planning a few town hall meetings Saturday in the 2nd Legislative District. The three events are in:
- Graham – 10-11 a.m.: Graham Fire Station No. 4, 23014 70th Avenue E.
- Lacey – 1:30-2:30 p.m.: Lacey Fire Station No. 34, 8407 Steilacoom Road SE.
- Yelm – 3:30-4:30 p.m.: Yelm Public Safety Building, 206 McKenzie Avenue SE,
More details are here. The 2nd is a sprawling district that runs from the outskirts of south Lacey to Rainier, Yelm, and into Eatonville in Pierce County.
Three lawmakers from the 22nd district serving Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater plan a town hall at the Capitol Campus – also on Saturday.
As reported here last week, Democratic Sen. Karen Fraser of Thurston County, Democratic Rep. Chris Reykdal of Tumwater and Democratic Rep. Sam Hunt of Olympia also are holding forth from 10 a.m. to noon in House Hearing Room A on the ground floor of the O’Brien Building.
Rep. Hunt has provided links for a campus map and also parking information. There is no charge for on-campus parking on weekends, but it is not allowed in the residential areas of the South Capitol Neighborhood. Hunt suggested visitors “use the lots behind the Cherberg Building and between the Legislative and O’Brien buildings, as well as on the diagonal streets leading from Capitol Way to the campus.”
The town halls take place just days before the March 20 revenue forecast, which is expected to trigger the release of Senate and then House budget proposals for 2013-15. Lawmakers face a $900 million shortfall and are under pressure from a state Supreme Court order to increase funding for K-12 public schools – which could require as much as $1.3 billion to $1.4 billion in new funding this biennium.
The Supreme Court’s ruling two weeks ago to strike down Initiative 1053′s super-majority requirement for taxes could open the door to wider discussion of ideas to raise new revenues, because a two-thirds super-majority vote would not be needed to enact tax hikes or to close tax exemptions any longer.
The Republican-dominated Majority Coalition Caucus in the Senate has expressed hostility to taxes and is expected to try adopting rules that require the two-thirds threshold, but Sen. Bruce Dammeier, R-Puyallup, said over the weekend the majority caucus would be seeking to put about $1 billion in new money into K-12 schools.
Wilcox said the House Republicans would be seeking to put in about $900 million.