Dear Friends and Neighbors,
This is the fourth week of the 2014 Legislative Session. Feb. 7 marks an important day for the House of Representatives. This is the last day for committees to hear bills from their house of origin and the first significant deadline of the session. Bills originating in the House of Representatives must be voted out of House committees (and vice-versa for the Senate) or the legislation is considered dead. Only fiscal committees and the Transportation Committee are exempt from this deadline.
Vick legislation moves forward
The bills I have sponsored this year are making good progress
- House Bill 2099 would move expiration date of the timber tax reporting requirements and allow the Department of Revenue to continue using a useful tool for setting accurate tax stumpage values. This legislation was voted out of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and is in Rules Committee.
- House Bill 2281 would obligate the Director of the Washington State Lottery to report revenues annually and require the probability of winning to be more obvious on tickets and in advertising. Consumers will be able to see the odds of winning and their contribution to the state lottery income. This bill was voted out of the House Government Accountability and Oversight and is now in House Appropriations. It has until Feb. 11 to move out of Appropriations.
- House Bill 2371 would allow growlers to be sold in grocery stores. This bill will help our breweries and businesses with increased sales with customers having the option of going to the closest store for purchases. This bill was voted out of the Government Accountability and Oversight Committee today by a vote of 8-1.
- House Bill 2404 helps two high tech companies bring design and innovation to our community (picture to the right. Michael and Andrew from Inventist). This bill would expand the legal definition of an electric personal assistive mobility device (EPAMD) to include their product under the EPAMD definition to prevent product uncertainty on sidewalks and side streets. It is scheduled for a vote in the House Transportation Committee.
- House Bill 2452 would require agencies to pool their intelligence regarding violations. The bill would help protect consumers by stream lining information-sharing at federal and state levels. This legislation was voted out of the House Business and Financial Services Committee and is now in Rules Committee.
Other important legislation to be heard this week
When looking at the week ahead, these are bills which may be of interest to you:
Tuesday, Feb. 4:
- House Bill 2095 would reduce the cost of transportation projects and will be heard in House Environment Committee at 10:00 A.M.. House Bill 2269 would reduce the cost of Infrastructure projects and will also be heard simultaneously with House Bill 2095. I am in support of this legislation which will help protect private land owner's rights.
- House Bill 2693 would extend the Aerospace Tax to helicopter manufacturers in an effort to draw companies to Clark County. This legislation is designed to attract helicopter manufacturers and bring high paying family wage jobs to our district. The bill will be heard in House Finance Committee at 1:30 p.m. I am in support of this legislation.
- House Bill 2672 would increase the minimum wage. This bill will have a hearing in House Labor and Workforce Development Committee at 1:30 p.m. An increase in minimum wage will likely increase unemployment, already a problem in our community, among our youth and those in need. Employers will be forced to adjust to unnecessary additional costs by raise prices (hurting low income consumers), or by reducing employee hours, eliminate jobs, or eliminate other employee benefits (hurting low income employees). A common estimate is for every 10% increase in the minimum wage, teen employment rates decrease by 1-3%. I believe this legislation harms the people it is intended to help and as a result, I oppose this legislation.
- House Bill 2123 would help address congestion relief and transportation mobility. This bill will be heard in House Transportation Committee at 3:30 p.m.
I also wish to extend my appreciation to our office intern, Jessica Mohr. She is currently in her senior year at Washington State University Vancouver and is majoring in Public Affairs. Jessica is bright, articulate, motivated, and responsible. Along with a strong work ethic, Jessica possesses very formidable writing and research skills. I have no doubt Jessica will be a tremendous success in either law or graduate school and will be a rising star in our community in the near future.
For the next 38 days, I will be sending e-newsletters 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. My door is always open and I appreciate hearing from you.
Finally, I would like to congratulate our World Champion Seattle Seahawks for winning the Super Bowl and recognize the “12th Man” fan base who made it happen.