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Kilmer, Seaquist sponsor legislative halftime show

Two 26th District lawmakers will host four town meetings next Saturday in order to inform the public of their progress during the first half of this year’s session while soliciting input about which bills should be passed.

Sen. Derek Kilmer and Rep. Larry Seaquist, both D-Gig Harbor, will hold the four public events in succession.

“I’m committed to making sure that I can spend as much time as possible in our community to participate in local events and find out what’s on the minds of my constituents,” Kilmer said.

While there is no formal agenda, it is probable that much of the discussion will center around how government can provide services in the face of a shrinking budget.

“While we’ve been working in Olympia to shrink the state budget, our economy has continued to crash,” Seaquist said. “I’m looking forward to hearing from our neighbors how they think we can best weather this economic storm.”

The meetings take place just after the halfway point of this year’s Legislature, and two days after the last day a bill can pass in its house of origin.

After that point, bills from the house and the senate will be sent to the other for approval. So any bill not approved in either house is dead for the year, and it is no longer possible for a new bill to be introduced.

According to Democratic legislative spokesman John Breaux, the secondary discussion tailored to the region. For instance, the two Kitsap County meetings will focus on the ferry system and the Gig Harbor meetings will emphasize issues surrounding the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

Kilmer said last month that he expected bridge tolls will rise to an expected $6 per crossing by 2015.

However, he would like to postpone increases as long as possible and prevent other legislators from attempting to cover unrelated expenditures through a premature fare increase.

“This is definitely a good time for the public to tell their representatives which bills they should support,” Breaux said.

The times and locations are as follows: 9 to 10:30 a.m., Norm Dicks Government Center, Bremerton; 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Givens Community Center, Port Orchard; 2 to 3:30 p.m., Key Peninsula Civic Center, Vaughn; 4 to 5:30 p.m., Gig Harbor High School, Gig Harbor.

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