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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I want to thank those who attended the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce legislative preview on Dec. 12. Approximately 80 people attended the meeting. In fact, the Chamber had to change the location because of the high turnout.

I, along with my seatmates, Rep. Mike Steele and Sen. Brad Hawkins, provided an overview of the upcoming session and took questions from those in attendance. There was a strong emphasis on agriculture. We appreciate the input and feedback. As we move forward, it is important folks stay informed and engaged.

At the end of the update, I have provided a number of links that will help you follow the legislative session, participate in committee hearings and contact other legislators with your thoughts, concerns or support for legislation.

Rep. Goehner addresses the crowd at the Chamber of Commerce event.

Focusing on local government

As the lead Republican on the House Local Government Committee, much of my focus relates to how we can assist our local entities in Olympia. I recently met with many mayors and city managers from across the 12th District – including Sultan, Monroe, Carnation, Cashmere, Leavenworth, Wenatchee, and Chelan.

The biggest concern many of them have is the lack of flexibility in the Growth Management Act and the restrictions of putting together a comprehensive plan. Sultan has experienced 30% growth in three years. Another concern brought up was the lack of funding support from the state despite mandates to provide infrastructure.

Communities are struggling with a lack of affordable housing, but the state continues to pass laws and regulations that increase the cost of housing.

Public safety and addressing the increase in crime, mental health needs, and transportation infrastructure were also discussed.

I have shared many of these issues and concerns with the Local Government Committee and will continue to do so. Changes to these issues cannot be done overnight. However, I am hopeful our committee will not only listen to and work with our city and county entities on these issues but legislators across the state are also listening to the counties, cities, and communities in their districts. Most, if not all, of these issues impact all corners of Washington state.

I would also note I have participated in meetings with county commissioners, PUD commissioners, port district commissioners and others. I greatly appreciate hearing the needs and concerns of entities in the 12th District.

It is equally important that you, the constituents of our district, contact us with any questions or thoughts about the legislative session. I appreciate your input and feedback. As you can see by the statistics below, several issues need to be addressed.

  • #51 in police officers per capita behind all states and D.C. (WASPC Report)
  • #1 state most impacted by retail theft (Forbes)
  • #2 for all property crime (Statista)
  • #3 for automobile thefts (KIRO)
  • #3 highest gas prices in the nation (Forbes)
  • #4 most expensive state to buy a home (Forbes)
  • #50 in housing units per household (Lt. Gov. Report)
  • #4 highest homelessness rate (US News & World Reports)
  • 70% of students are failing math and 50% are failing reading (OSPI)
  • #9 for most expensive infant childcare (Economic Policy Institute)
  • #1worst state for potholes (USA Today)
  • 60% of roads need maintenance totaling 11,000 miles of backlog and costing $11 billion (Center Square)
  • Fewest working ferries and on-time performance has declined for 5 years (KING 5)

Stay engaged and connected

The 2024 legislative session officially started Monday, Jan. 8. By sharing your thoughts, questions and concerns, you can help influence policies that impact our region and state being considered by the Legislature. Below are some helpful links for you during the legislative session.

Sign-up for The Week Ahead | A weekly compilation from House Republicans featuring important committee hearings, with links and other details for your reference.

Committee and floor calendars

Sign-up for The Capitol Buzz | A weekday summary of online news stories from across the state.

Bookmark the Washington State Ledger | A legislative news aggregator.

Increasing transparency on cap-and-trade costs

While I am working on a number of issues this session, I wanted to bring attention to House Bill 2050. It would require stickers on fuel pumps to disclose the impact of the Climate Commitment Act (CCA) on the price of fuel. You may recall I introduced legislation in the past requiring the posting of a sticker on fuel pumps with the state and federal gas tax rates. However, with the recent lack of transparency on the impact the CCA has on fuel prices, consumers need to be aware of its impact.

For more information, I urge you to read my news release sent out earlier this week. Click here to read it.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

It is an honor to serve the great people of the 12th District.

Sincerely,


Keith Goehner

State Representative Keith Goehner, 12th Legislative District
RepresentativeKeithGoehner.com
122B Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
keith.goehner@leg.wa.gov
(360) 786-7954 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000