Republican 14th District State Senator Curtis King has 15 years of service to central Washington and a focus of his has been state transportation issues.  He heads back to Olympia for Monday's opening of the 60-day 2022 legislative session with a laundry list of transportation needs and a bushel basket of money waiting when he gets there,  The question is, how will the money be spent?

Money Is NOT The Problem

King points out that a billion-plus in unspent and undesignated covid relief money sits in government coffers now, tens or hundreds of millions or more will be coming in with the passage of the federal infrastructure bill, and state sales tax money is piling up by the hundreds of millions more than forecasters first predicted.

So having money isn't the problem.  Having a majority party is.  King hopes Democrats will work with Republicans to responsibly use the windfall for the long-term good of all Washingtonians.  But the numbers show they don't have to. Democrats control both houses of the Washington State Legislature with Democrats holding a 57-41 majority in the House of Representatives and a 28-21 majority in the Senate (with one Democratic senator caucusing with the 20 Republicans).

Covid Makes It Tricky

Before the challenge of trying to make a positive legislative contribution can get underway, Senator King says lawmakers will have to run the gauntlet of Capitol Campus Covid protocols.  King says he plans to work from his new office but before he can go there he'll have to be tested for Covid and once he's in his office, you won't be able to visit him there.

Power To The People

The Senator is hopeful some progress can be made in peeling back the Governor's "Emergency Powers" which have been in effect for almost two years.

LOOK: Here are the best lake towns to live in

Many of the included towns jump out at the casual observer as popular summer-rental spots--the Ozarks' Branson, Missouri, or Arizona's Lake Havasu--it might surprise you to dive deeper into some quality-of-life offerings beyond the beach and vacation homes. You'll likely pick up some knowledge from a wide range of Americana: one of the last remaining 1950s-style drive-ins in the Midwest; a Florida town that started as a Civil War veteran retirement area; an island boasting some of the country's top public schools and wealth-earners right in the middle of a lake between Seattle and Bellevue; and even a California town containing much more than Johnny Cash's prison blues.