Dear Friends and Neighbors,
This is the third week of the 2014 Legislative Session. The House Republicans have been busy fighting for you. You can find out more about these events on our caucus website: houserepublicans.wa.gov. I have also been very busy working to ensure that you have a voice in the Legislature.
Two of my bills have already been heard this week.
- House Bill 2404 is legislation requested by constituents in Camas. During the interim I took an inventory of what the businesses in my district need. Two small local business make a small motorized device called the Solowheel – they told me its green, it's fun, it gets people outdoors and to and from work and yet we can't sell it with the full faith and knowledge that it will be legal for people to ride it on the street. They were not allowed to do so because of the legal definition of an electric personal assistive mobility device (EPAMD). This bill would include their product under that definition. You can hear my testimony and gain greater insight (and perhaps have a laugh or two) by clicking here. The bill has also been scheduled for a vote tomorrow, Jan. 29. I am optimistic it will pass and proud to have been able to help a local small business.
- House Bill 2371 would allow growlers to be sold in grocery stores. This bill is good for our breweries and businesses because sales are likely to increase with the option of going to the closest store for purchases. This bill is also green because growlers are reused instead of thrown away. Similar legislation regarding wine is also being heard this year.
Other important laws
– One of initiatives, I-591, clarifies and enhances the rights of firearm owners in Washington State. I am in support of this legislation.
– The other, I-594, creates unnecessary regulation on law-abiding citizens that will not deter the bad players. This legislation will not keep firearms out of the hands of criminals. I am opposed to this legislation.
The crowds for, and against, these measures were so large that was hard for any substantive process to take place. As you can see from the picture at the left, the line to testify stretched out of the building. People who drove great distances were unable to testify but the chair of the House Judiciary Committee tried to hear as many people as possible.
It is unlikely that either of these initiatives will move forward. However, it is very clear that this is an issue over which citizens care deeply. Be certain that while I am here the opinions of the people back home are at the forefront of my mind and I will not help pass legislation that takes away, or hampers, your Second Amendment rights. You will be able to watch the hearing on TVW by clicking here.
Some other interesting bills will be heard this week:
- House Bill 2209 and 2210 would improve the accuracy of prevailing wage rates. State law requires that prevailing wages be paid to laborers, workers and mechanics on all public works and under all public building service maintenance contracts. This law would ensure that wages are not artificially inflated based on Federal projects. I Support this legislation. These bills were heard today in the House Labor & Workforce Development Committee.
- House Bill 2144 would direct a portion of sales tax revenues from the sale of recreational marijuana to local jurisdictions. This is a great way to fund our local police! I am in support of this bill. This bill will be heard in the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee at 10:00 a.m. on Jan. 30.
- House Bill 2192 would enhance the transparency and predictability of state agency permitting and review process. I am in support of this bill as making permitting predictable is critical for our state businesses. This legislation will be heard Friday, Jan. 31 in Government Operations and Elections at 8:00 a.m.
For the next 52 days, I will be sending e-newsletters like this one weekly. Please feel free to pass this information along to anyone who would like to start receiving the newsletter and let them know they can sign-up here.
A quick thank you to the Washington Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs that came to the hill for a visit on Jan. 21 (picture at right). It was great to hear the questions from the next generation of constituents. My door is always open and I appreciate hearing from you.