Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The 2019 legislative session is underway, and we have hit the ground running. The session will last 105 days and is scheduled to adjourn April 28. I am committed to finishing the work of the people of Washington state on time.
There will be many important issues before us in the days and weeks to come. This year the Legislature must write a biennial state operating budget. I also expect us to have a robust debate on proposals dealing with taxes, affordable housing, mental health, transportation, issues impacting the economy and environmental policies. While we have many challenges before us, I am optimistic we can address them in a positive way for our families, communities and hard-working taxpayers of Washington state.
I have been appointed to serve on three important committees this year. Once again I am the lead Republican on the House Consumer Protection and Business Committee. This committee deals with issues relating to consumer protection, licensing and regulation of businesses, insurance and consumer credit. As the lead Republican member, I will be working with the chair of the committee on formulating the agenda, and be the lead voice for the caucus on issues before the committee. Many of you know I have a passion for business issues, so I am pleased to have a leading role for our caucus on this committee again.
New to my schedule this year is the House Finance Committee. The committee considers issues relating to state and local tax policy, such as increases or decreases in taxes, exemptions from taxes, and changes in the administration of taxes. I am excited to again be a part of this committee after a two-year stint on the Appropriations Committee. As you have likely heard, there are proposals for a capital-gains income tax, increases in the B&O tax, a lifting of the one percent cap on property taxes, taxes on carbon and other areas of the economy. These proposals are being made despite the fact that record revenue is coming into the state coffers from taxpayers. With our state's strong revenue I feel my job on this committee is to protect taxpayers from unnecessary tax increases.
I will continue serving on the House Commerce and Gaming Committee in the upcoming session. This is often referred to as the “vice” committee because issues that come before this committee include alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis, as well as gaming and tribal compacts. We are continually tweaking laws as we learn how to handle the evolving marketplaces on some of these issues.
In my job as your state representative, it is important that I work in a collaborative manner with individuals of all political persuasions in Olympia. It is equally important that I keep in close communication with you. There are plenty of ways to follow what is happening in Olympia or see what I am working on during the session. Here is how you can stay involved in YOUR state government:
Capitol Buzz – A daily electronic clip service of House Republicans. Click here to subscribe.
Check out my Website – www.representativebrandonvick.com. From this link, you can get more information about me, the bills I have sponsored and view my news releases as well as current and past email updates.
TVW– The state's own version of C-Span, TVW broadcasts floor and committee action live. You can also watch on your computer, smartphone or tablet: www.tvw.org
Legislature's Website– You can get bill reports, track legislation, view committee agendas and information about upcoming activities in the Legislature at: www.leg.wa.gov
Contact my Olympia office: Finally, I encourage you to contact me with the priorities that are important to you. Please do not hesitate with your questions, concerns or comments about legislation we are working on or state issues important to you. You can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my Olympia office at (360) 786-7850. If you're planning a trip to Olympia during session, please call ahead so we can find time in my schedule for us to meet.
I am honored the 18th District has entrusted me to represent them in the Legislature for a fourth term.