Capitol crunch

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Rep. Kevin Van De Wege and Rep. Steve Tharinger, both D-Sequim, allowed Gazette reporter Amanda Winters to shadow them one day this week for an inside look at their daily activities at the state capitol.

Tharinger said the pace of life as a representative in Olympia during session is faster than he expected.
“The process is deliberative and slow, but the information and activity is fast,” he said.

Every day he carries around a two-sided blue card with his schedule printed on it, but some days it takes three double-sided cards to include all his appointments.

Their days consist of meetings with constituents, committees, sessions, learning about an average of 40 bills a day and sometimes evening receptions.

As the state faces a $4.6 billion deficit with many programs facing elimination altogether under the governor’s proposed budget, most constituents have one goal: to secure support for program funding.

The problem, Van De Wege said, is there is no money for a lot of the things people are asking for.

Read the full story in Wednesday’s edition of the Sequim Gazette.




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