Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We've reached the policy and fiscal committee cutoff point of session. Bills that have received public hearings and been voted out of the policy and fiscal committees are now able to be brought to the floor of the House for discussion and debate. Much of the next 10 days will be spent on the House floor voting on legislation. These sessions are frantic, fast-paced affairs interspersed with a lot of “sit around and wait” time as the majority party tries to manage the schedule. These days often drag into the late night. Voting on bills around the midnight hour is not a rare occasion.
To see a list of some of the big “dead/alive” bills, click here. There are some good bills that are dead; and there are some bad bills that are alive, and vice versa. This is only the beginning of the process, so stay tuned.
I want to thank those of you who were able to join Sen. Brian Dansel and Rep. Joel Kretz and me during our telephone town hall. We had a fantastic turnout with 7,448 live participants in total with as many as 1,236 folks on the line at a time! We took questions, discussed different legislative issue (wolves and forest fires remain hot topics) and then asked some poll questions. Here are the questions and results of the poll:
What issue is most important to you?
State Spending (32.4%), Jobs/The Economy (29.6%), Health Care (12%), Forest Management/Wildfire Fighting (9.3%), K-12 Education (9%), Other (5.9%), and Transportation (1.9%)
The governor is proposing a carbon tax on large employers like Vaagen Brothers, and also on many large energy companies to pay for transportation and education. Knowing this will most likely raise the price of food, fuel and electricity, would you support the governor's plan?
NO (84.8%), YES (11.8%) Not sure. Need more information (3.4%)
If you missed out on the telephone town hall and want to let me know where you stand on these two issues, click here to take a quick, two question online survey.
Gov. Inslee's cap and trade
Last week, I was on the Rick Rydell show (KXLY 920) where we talked about the governor's cap and trade (carbon tax) plan and how it would hurt our economy and increase the costs of goods, services and fuels. To listen to that interview, click here.
Despite our (House Republican) efforts to fight the bill in the House Environment Committee, it passed on a party line vote with all House Democrats supporting the measure. To watch a short video on how we tried to fight it, click here.
HB 1011 – construction climate zones
My bill to help keep local construction costs down passed the House unanimously and is now in the Senate for further consideration. To read my press release on this bill, click here.
Wolves and forest fires
To read more about Rep. Kretz and my efforts to revamp how our state fights wildfires, click here and here. To read about our efforts to deal with the wolf issue in Northeast Washington, click here.
To view my latest video update where I talk about wolves, forest fires and Gov. Inslee's proposed low carbon fuel standards, click here.
Thank you for taking the time to read my legislative update and for staying involved in your state government. Please let me know if you have questions or concerns about an issue or state agency. It's an honor to serve you in Olympia.
427A Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
360-786-7908 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000