Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Upcoming public hearings
Here are a few bills being heard in Olympia this week. Please note I do not necessarily support all of these. I share this to keep you informed and give you the opportunity to testify or offer your comments:
HB 1461 — revising provisions established under I-502 regarding the recreational and medical marijuana systems. Commerce & Gaming @ 1:30 p.m.
HB 1639 — addressing concerns with government surveillance using extraordinary sensing devices. Public Safety @ 1:30 p.m.
HB 1396 — clean fuel incentives act, providing a tax preference for the use of commercial alternative fuel vehicles. Transportation @ 3:30 p.m.
HB 1425 — ensuring entities performing government functions and advisory committees are subject to the open public meetings act and public records act. State Government @ 1:30 p.m.
HB 1745 — making it easier to force localities to switch to geographic, district-based elections. State Government @ 1:30 p.m.
HB 1678 — addressing tax fairness concerns with e-commerce sales. Finance @ 8 a.m.
If you miss any of these hearings, you can watch them all, and more, on TVW.
The Legislature has concluded its first month of session and more than 900 pieces of legislation have been submitted.
The House passed two bills off the floor last week. One, HB 1258 or “Joel's law”, addresses the involuntary commitment of a mentally ill family member. It passed unanimously off the floor and I was honored to cast my vote in favor. The bill is named for Joel Reuter, who suffered from bipolar disorder. In 2013, Joel was involved in a standoff with police while in a state of delusion and was tragically shot and killed. It is my sincere hope this legislation will prevent such unfortunate circumstances from recurring and provide aid, comfort and security for families facing such difficult hardships.
The second bill was a supplemental operating budget (HB 1105). This budget provides spending for mental health treatment capacity, the Oso landslide, Carlton Complex fire and other emergencies.
A few of my bills have received public hearings and some have passed out of their respective committees. Here's a brief update on some of my legislation:
HB 1884 – this would update current law regarding electric personal assistive mobility devices and help some of our high-tech companies in the 18th District continue their success in recent, technological developments. The bill has been referred to the House Transportation Committee.
HB 1198 – this would allow interested grocery stores to apply for an endorsement to fill growlers brought in by customers. It was given a hearing Jan. 20 and is scheduled for executive session Feb. 5. During the executive session, members will have the opportunity to vote this legislation out of committee.
HB 1296 – this would expand economic opportunities and allow for Washingtonians to enjoy a perfectly legal product in an establishment meant solely for that purpose. The bill was unanimously voted out of the House Commerce and Gaming Committee on Thursday.
HB 1309 – this would permit real estate brokers to sell floating homes. It was heard in the House Business and Financial Services Committee on Wednesday and is scheduled for an executive session tomorrow.
You can view all of my sponsored legislation here.
Joining the House Finance Committee
Last week, Washington House Republicans were provided an extra seat on the House Finance Committee and they offered that seat to me. This is the tax policy committee — dealing with state and local revenues, tax increases and decreases, tax preferences, and tax administration. I'm thrilled to be back serving on the committee and be your voice on many of these important issues!
The committee consists of nine Democrats and seven Republicans and, with this tight margin, I hope we can focus on some sound policies that are respectful of taxpayers and spend their dollars wisely. This added seat will make it more difficult for the Legislature to raise taxes on hardworking citizens.
Read my press release announcing the assignment here.
Honoring the National Guard
On Friday, the Legislature was privileged to honor the Washington State National Guard. Their commitment to community service and their sacrifices to defend our state and country do not go unnoticed. I offer my sincere appreciation for their service and dedication, and my thanks to anyone in the 18th District in our Armed Services.
Thank you for reading these email updates. I do my best to keep you updated on legislative activities throughout session. If you know of anyone who would like to receive these updates, please forward them. Anyone can sign up to receive these regularly on my website.
It's an honor to serve you.