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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I hope this letter finds you well and filled with anticipation for the upcoming Thanksgiving celebration. Our district, with its diverse and breathtaking beauty, provides the perfect backdrop for a Thanksgiving filled with gratitude. I am truly grateful to represent such a wonderful community, and I am committed to ensuring that we continue to thrive and offer opportunities for all.

Charting the course: The 2024 legislative session approaches

Guess what’s just around the corner? Yep, the 2024 Legislative Session is about to kick off, and I want to keep you in the loop on what’s coming up in Olympia. It all starts on Monday, Jan. 8, and wraps up on Thursday, March 7.

Brace yourselves because this session is going to be a real rollercoaster of discussions and decisions. During an action-packed 60 days, we’re not just talking about reviewing and voting on bills. We’ll also be diving into the nitty-gritty of the state’s budgets—the operating, capital, and transportation budgets. It will be a sprint to the finish line, where we’re not just dealing with bills but also negotiating changes to those budgets, fine-tuning them to make sure they meet our state’s developing needs.

To prepare for the session ahead, I’ve been collaborating with my fellow lawmakers and had some real talks with you, the people in our community, tackling the specific concerns and needs of our district. Here’s a quick rundown of what I’ve been up to lately in our neck of the woods:

  • Infrastructure and Economic Development: Exploring opportunities for economic growth and job creation in collaboration with local businesses, chambers of commerce, and community leaders.
  • Education Advocacy: Prioritizing policies that enhance educational opportunities for our students by working closely with local schools, teachers, and parents.
  • Public Safety Collaborations: Collaborating with law enforcement agencies and community leaders to address public safety concerns and support policies that enhance the well-being of our residents.
  • Healthcare Initiatives: Advocating for accessible and affordable healthcare by engaging with constituents and healthcare officials to support legislative proposals that improve the quality of healthcare services in our district and state.

From groundbreakings to diplomatic talks: Here’s a recap of my active role in the 13th Legislative District

Staying connected with our communities and being a part of significant local events is a perk of representing your interests. Over the past several months, I’ve had the privilege of participating in various events, ranging from the FISH Food Pantry groundbreaking in Ellensburg to the open house of Ellensburg’s 100F Lodge 20. I’m passionate about improving healthcare, which is why celebrating the ribbon-cutting for CWU Health Education and Nicholson Pavilion in Ellensburg meant so much to me. I deeply appreciate the valuable work these local organizations do for the people in our district.

I’ve also engaged in diplomatic talks, sitting down with the Croatian Ambassador Pjer Simonovic and General Consul Renee Pea for the 5-year commemoration at the Croatian Memorial in Roslyn. Additionally, I’ve enjoyed the cultural vibes at the Roslyn Downtown Assoc and Yakama Nation Creator’s Law Sculpture Ceremony because our arts scene matters. These experiences are the real deal, reflecting my approach as your representative—caring about our communities, advocating for development, and fostering meaningful relationships.

Other recent achievements: The new Moses Lake Radiation Oncology Center

Teamwork makes the dream work! Amid cancer survivors, patients, health bigwigs, and doctors, I had the honor of cutting the ribbon at the new Radiation Oncology Center in Moses Lake. Building the center took a coordinated effort. Alongside the Confluence Health Foundation, the Wenatchee Valley Medical Group, and the Columbia Basin Cancer Foundation, the state contributed $3.8 million from the 2023-25 capital budget. Together with my colleagues Sen. Judy Warnick, R-Moses Lake, and Rep. Tom Dent, R-Moses Lake, we navigated the legislative hoops, helping to secure funds during the 2023 session.

This game-changer facility gives patients an alternative to trekking all the way to Spokane, Wenatchee, or even Seattle for their cancer treatments. Now, they can receive their medical care and all the services tied to that difficult diagnosis right in one spot. It’s all about keeping things local and giving patients the support they need during something as tough and personal as a cancer diagnosis.


Quincy’s Data Center Opening

I was also honored to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Vantage’s third and final Quincy data center. Dubbed WA13, the facility will help contribute to the employment of residents, further boosting our region’s economy.


House Page Program

Exciting news coming your way! The Washington State House of Representatives Page Program has opened its doors for applications, and you won’t want to miss out on this fantastic opportunity!

I’ve seen the incredible enthusiasm from our local students in 2023, and I’m expecting the same level of excitement in 2024. I truly believe that being a page can add a meaningful and unforgettable chapter in a student’s education and life experience.

Student pages spend a week helping House members with all sorts of tasks—from hanging out on the chamber floor to making deliveries across campus, supporting member offices, and diving into Page School. Their role is crucial in keeping the gears turning smoothly in the world of lawmaking.

  • Eligibility: Students should be at least 14 years old but not hit their 17th birthday. Pages get a stipend of $65 per day and can rack up to 20 hours of community service.
  • Extra help: If you need a hand with the costs of getting to Olympia and staying there, the Gina Grant Bull Memorial Legislative Page Scholarship can help. It’s designed to ease the financial load, so don’t hesitate to apply.

Don’t miss out! If you’ve got a student in mind who would benefit from this program, pass on this message to them. It’s an awesome chance to pitch in, soak up knowledge, and genuinely make a positive impact.

Thank you!

I want to express my gratitude for your trust and support. Your thoughts, concerns, and ideas are invaluable in shaping the decisions made in Olympia. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or feedback you may have.

Wishing you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving filled with warmth, joy, and togetherness.

Thank you for allowing me to represent you in Olympia!

Sincerely,


Alex Ybarra

State Representative Alex Ybarra, 13th Legislative District
RepresentativeAlexYbarra.com
470 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
alex.ybarra@leg.wa.gov
(360) 786-7808 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000