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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
January 28, 2015
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1119 Meade Ave. 786-7787
613 7th Street
Prosser, WA 99350
509-786-1711
Update from Rep. Walsh on the 2015 legislative session

   By Rep. Maureen Walsh
The second week of session just wrapped up. Bills are getting introduced to committees and policy ideas are flowing. The reality is, many of these bills will die on the vine. As session continues and we hit our various policy and fiscal cutoffs, we'll have a much more manageable bundle of bills to consider and vote on.
This is also the beginning of a new biennium, which means it's time for the Legislature to craft a new budget. The good news is, we are expecting $3 billion more revenue this budget cycle than we had the last biennium.
With gas prices plummeting to less than $2 a gallon, some politicians think this is the ideal time to increase state and federal gas taxes.  The theory is when gasoline is expensive, voters vehemently oppose higher gas taxes; but when the price drops, motorists don't pay as much attention.  They just fill up and drive off, thankful for the savings.
The flaw in that theory is that gas prices will inevitably climb again.  But a larger concern is that the debate over fuel taxes distracts us from the real question:  what is the best way to pay for road projects and bridge maintenance and reduce highway congestion?
The real issue is how taxes are collected and distributed for transportation projects. 
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
United Good Neighbors
To the editor,
United Good Neighbors impacts our community year-round. By contributing to Prosser's annual UGN fund drive, donors support programs for two of our most important assets: our youths and our seniors.
Dollars donated to the local UGN help fund many organizations, including the Prosser Boys and Girls Club, Prosser Swim Team, Prosser Youth Soccer, Prosser Senior Citizens Club and Meals on Wheels.
For decades, the donations made to the United Good Neighbors have helped our Prosser neighbors when they have needed critical services. For example, through Senior Life Resources, Meals on Wheels provides meals for home-bound senior citizens who are unable to attend lunch at the senior center. In 2013, this service provided 10,280 meals, including 4,907 home-delivered meals to 141 seniors and 5,373 meals served at the senior center.
Annually, thoughtful donors enable the Prosser UGN to support important community services as well. One example is the Prosser Boys and Girls Club. This organization receives collaborative funding from various grant programs, the City of Prosser, Prosser School District, private contributions and UGN. This is a perfect example of community support and investment in our children and our future. It is truly "Neighbors Helping Neighbors" in action.
These are only two examples of the great support UGN provides to our community. To be a successful community, we need to depend on each other and support each other. By donating to UGN, you become part of the chain that is dedicated to seeing our community and neighbors succeed!
We welcome your donation at any time. Thank you for your support!

Pat Sullivan, UGN President
Reps. Terry Nealey and Maureen Walsh invite constituents to participate in telephone town hall

Reps. Terry Nealey and Rep. Maureen Walshinvite 16th District constituents to participate in an hour-long telephone town hall Wednesday, Jan. 28 at 6 p.m. Constituents can participate by dialing509-885-9012 shortly before theevent begins. At any time during the call, listeners can get in the queue to ask a question by pressing the star (*) key on their telephone keypads.
"It's really important for us to hear from citizens as we are voting on issues important to the district while the Legislature is in session. This is a very convenient way for people to communicate with us to discuss their concerns and ask questions about state government and pending legislation. They can participate from the comfort of their homes," said Nealey, R-Dayton.