BELLINGHAM - State Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, is the only legislator representing Whatcom County whose office is not up for election this year. Ranker will use the down time to talk to constituents.
The senator plans a series of informal discussions at Book Fare Café in Village Books, 1200 11th St. The first meeting is 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday, May 14.
The state Legislature will reconvene in early 2015, when the state's next two-year budget must be approved.
Reaching agreement on the budget will be a challenge for the Democrat-controlled House and a Senate that could remain in Republican hands next year. The two houses are under pressure to significantly increase funding to K-12 education, after a recent state Supreme Court decision. Legislative staff has estimated that lawmakers will need to come up with $3.5 billion in additional funding by 2018, the Tacoma News Tribune reported.
Ranker will hold a second meeting with the public from 3 to 5 p.m. May 21 at the Book Fare Café.