Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It's hard to believe another year has passed, but the 2020 session is already here. Of course, that means we're all a year older and a year wiser.
The first week kicked off with some big issues taking center stage. But before I get into the legislative headlines, I want to thank you for your input leading up to session.
Your ideas, concerns, and opinions have played a key role in my preparation for this session. I appreciate the time you took to come out and share what matters to you at our town hall meetings earlier this month. I also appreciate the numerous phone calls, emails, in-person meetings, and tours during the interim. It's truly my goal to represent the people of the 18th District in Olympia. I value your feedback and I look forward to working for the causes and issues you care about the most.
That being said, remember, this is a 60-day session. Short sessions are generally reserved for minor policy and budget tweaks, and not for major policy shifts. However, that doesn't mean major policies aren't worth fighting for, or against, this session. And even though we're the minority party, we're not going to back down. We will do everything we can to push for the causes we believe in to fight for a better Washington.
It's Your Home. Expect More.
Personally, I want this great state to be a better place to live for everyone. Together with my House Republican colleagues, I'm focused on making life more affordable by reducing the cost of living. I also want to make our neighborhoods and communities safer. And I want to hold our government more accountable, especially for their rampant, unchecked spending. That's why me and my colleagues have introduced several bills that tackle these important issues. For example:
- House Bill 2190 seeks to increase government transparency and accountability by eliminating unconstitutional “title only” bills. This is how the majority party pushed through several new taxes last year.
- House Bill 2227 is the legislative answer to the lawsuits seeking to overturn I-976. This bill would limit state and local taxes, fees, and other charges relating to vehicles, and establish $30 car tabs, which the majority of you, and the rest of the state, voted for.
- House Bill 2222 is designed to lower the burdensome property taxes throughout the state to help ease your living expenses. Our economy has been very healthy, and the government doesn't need more of your hard-earned money. They need to better use what they already have. It's time to provide some relief for the people of Washington.
These are just a few of the major issues I'm working on as we focus on making Washington more safe, more affordable, and more accountable. This is your home. You should be able to expect more.
Occupational licensing bills
I also want to make you aware of some of the bills I'm working on. As the ranking member of the Consumer Protection and Business Committee, I've submitted four bills regarding occupational licensing. Three of these bills have a public hearing this week, and the fourth one will be heard soon.
All of these bills are designed to make it easier for individuals to pursue their desired careers and get licensed in Washington if their chosen field requires them to.
- House Bill 2354 would make it easier for new Washington residents to obtain professional licenses. States often have different licensing requirements before people can practice their profession. These differences prevent some people from being able to continue working in their profession when they move to Washington, until they've completed specific requirements that are often expensive and time-consuming. This bill would make that process much quicker in many instances.
- House Bill 2355 would make it possible for someone to receive a business license if they've proven they have the skills required to perform the duties for their profession. The bill would authorize the Department of Licensing to develop a competency-based assessment, allowing people to prove their ability, skills and knowledge, which are typically required by an occupational licensing exam.
- House Bill 2357 would ensure that the current licensing processes and requirement still provide enough protection for the public's health and safety, without adding unnecessary barriers and costly processes to obtain additional licensing.
- House Bill 2356 would make it easier for those who have been convicted of a crime and paid their debt to society to reenter the workforce upon completion of their sentence. This bill would create a reliable process for those with past criminal convictions, who have fulfilled the terms of their sentence, to apply for and receive a professional license.
I'm excited to see these bills and other ones I'm working on move through the legislative process. I care deeply about these issues and I want to make occupational licensing in Washington much simpler.
As your elected representative, I will continue to work for these and other causes to see that the people of the 18th District are heard. My goal in Olympia is to push for a better overall Washington.
Keep up with all of the “Buzz” in Olympia
If you want to stay up to date with everything going on during session, which is scheduled to end March 12, here are some great resources.
- Visit my website: You can keep up with me and my legislative priorities at RepresentativeBrandonVick.com. Check in regularly for my email updates, news releases, and bills I've sponsored.
- Legislature's website: You can also track legislation, get bill reports, view committee agendas and information about upcoming activities in the Legislature. Click here: www.leg.wa.gov.
- The Ledger: This daily informative and comprehensive news aggregator is the House Republican Caucus's latest tool to keep you in tune with everything going on in Olympia and throughout the entire state. Click here: The Washington State Ledger.
- Capitol Buzz: This daily electronic clip service offers headlines and stories from media outlets throughout the state, including newspaper, radio, television. Click here to subscribe for free.
- TVW: Tune into TVW, Washington's own version of C-Span. You can catch floor and committee action live at: www.tvw.org.
House Page Program still accepting applications
There's also still time to serve as a page for the 2020 legislative session. If you know a 14-to-16-year-old who is interested in this unique opportunity, please tell them to apply to the House Page Program. Pages spend a week in Olympia to attend Page School, where they assist lawmakers and staff, and get an inside look at our state Legislature. Click here to learn more.
Stay in touch
It's truly my honor to represent you and the causes you care about in Olympia. As your elected state representative, it's important to hear from you. Please continue to reach out to me going forward. Your input will help me be the most effective voice I can be. You can reach my office at (360) 786-7850 or email me at Brandon.Vick@leg.wa.gov. If you want to share your thoughts and ideas with me personally, please contact my legislative assistant, Peter Gilmour, to set up an appointment.
I look forward to hearing from you!
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