Dear Friends and Neighbors,
This is the sixth week of the 2014 Legislative Session. Tomorrow is the deadline for House bills to pass the floor and be sent to the Senate for consideration. The exceptions to this deadline are bills necessary to implement the supplemental budget. We will be working late into the night today debating and passing bills, as well as all day tomorrow until we hit the 5 p.m. cutoff.
Town hall events Sunday, Feb. 23
I will be hosting two town hall meetings for the residents of the 18th District on Sunday, Feb. 23:
- 10:00-11:30 a.m. at Battle Ground Community Center, 912 E. Main St., Battle Ground, WA 98604
- 1:00-2:30 p.m. at Camas Police Community Room, 2100 N.E. Third Ave., Camas, WA 98607
This will be a good opportunity to hear from you, take your questions and share thoughts on the issues most important to you. If you are unable to attend, please feel free to e-mail or call me with your comments.
Bills I have prime sponsored are still moving through the process. They have until the cut-off date tomorrow, Feb. 18, at 5 p.m. to move from the Rules Committee to the House floor for a vote.
- House Bill 2099 would move expiration date of timber tax reporting requirements and allow the Department of Revenue to use better methodology to simplify and add predictability in determining accurate tax stumpage values. This bill passed the House unanimously Thursday, Feb. 13, and is now scheduled for a public hearing on Thursday, Feb. 20, at 1:30 p.m. in the Senate Natural Resources and Parks Committee.
- House Bill 2371 would allow growlers (container brought by a customer to purchase beer) to be sold in grocery stores. This bill will help our breweries and businesses with increased sales and customers having the option of going to the closest store for purchases.
- House Bill 2404 helps two high tech companies bring design and innovation to our community. This bill would expand the legal definition of an electric personal assistive mobility device (EPAMD) to include their product under the EPAMD definition to allow their products on sidewalks and side streets. This legislation has not yet been assigned to a Senate Committee.
- House Bill 2452 would require agencies to pool their intelligence regarding violations. The bill would help protect consumers by streamlining information-sharing at federal and state levels.
My remaining bill, House Bill 2281, would obligate the Director of the Washington State Lottery to detail the probability of winning in a more obvious manner on tickets and in advertising. This would ensure consumers have the ability to see the odds of winning at the time of purchase. As amended, this bill moved through the committee process and is now on the floor calendar awaiting a full vote in the House.
Other important legislation to be heard this week
On Wednesday, Feb. 19, two measures to address critical public safety issues will receive hearings in the House Public Safety Committee.
- Senate Bill 6069 would give victims of sexual crimes greater protections by authorizing the state Department of Corrections to require the offenders convicted of these heinous crimes to refrain from direct or indirect contact with the victim or immediate family member of the victim.
- Senate Bill 6339 would further strengthen our laws dealing with human trafficking and cases when threats are used to indenture a person into forced labor. This includes cracking down on those who use the threat of notifying law enforcement officials that a person is present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws or that their immigration paperwork will be destroyed if they try to leave the captor.
As we address how we treat perpetrators of crime, these bills rightly focus on the victims and giving them greater protections and rights.
Guests in Olympia
Last week, I had the honor of meeting with the following groups from our district: Washington Fire Chiefs, Head Start, American Cancer Society, YMCA Sexual Offense Division and the Washington State Republican Women, including members from the Clark County Republican Women.
This week, I look forward to meeting with numerous groups including: Students from WSU Vancouver, Port of Ridgefield, Clark County Firefighters, Washington State School Retirees' Association and state and county chairs and committee members for the Republican Party. I appreciate the time and effort these groups invest in travel to Olympia to make their voices heard. I will never forget the trust you have placed in me and I am grateful for the opportunity to listen to your ideas, comments and concerns.