Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The 2020 legislative session is underway and the first week went by quickly. Many bills have already been introduced and committee work is in full swing.
As the session gets rolling I would be interested in hearing from you. Your input is important to me as we address critical issues impacting the 12th District.
Please take a short survey that my seatmate Rep. Mike Steele and I put together. Tell us what you think the Legislature's top priorities should be during the 2020 session.
2020 Session priorities
The main reason we are here is to pass supplemental operating, capital and transportation budgets. However, we will be working on many other issues – $30 car tabs and transportation, homelessness, affordable housing, preventing more taxes – income, capital gains, gas and vehicle mile or road usage charge.
We obviously have many challenges before us as we work to preserve and improve our state's quality of life. The focus of House Republicans is very simple: working to make Washington safe, affordable and accountable. I share some of our priorities and legislation in this email update, many of which I am a cosponsor.
Keeping our communities and residents “safe”
- Provide local governments more options to address homelessness: House Bill 2282;
- Create a pilot project for providing basic law enforcement training in eastern Washington: House Bill 2538;
- Create a law enforcement outreach program: House Bill 2539;
- Ensure safe neighborhoods through proactive policing: House Bill 1501; and
- Protect communities from wildfires: House Bill 1188.
Making life more “affordable”
- Implement $30 car tabs: House Bill 2227;
- Reduce the state property tax: House Bill 2222;
- Oppose a new vehicle-miles-traveled tax or road user charge;
- Lower the cost of owning or renting a home: House Bill 1353, House Bill 1938, House Bill 2010;
- Lower the costs of attending college: House Bill 1701, House Bill 1702; and
- Streamline licensing and regulations to lower the cost of child care; House Bill 1378.
Holding the governor and state government “accountable”
- Eliminate title-only, “ghost bills” and increase legislative transparency: House Bill 2190;
- Respect the will of the voters (I-976) and address transportation revenue shortfalls with existing revenue: House Bill 2323; and
- Implement metrics and performance audits for state spending: House Bill 2150.
Appointed to Environment and Energy Committee
Shortly before session I added a fourth committee assignment. I am now on the House Environment and Energy Committee, which covers significant policy issues that are important to the 12th District and Washington state. The committee considers issues relating to the State Environmental Policy Act, Growth Management Act, Shoreline Management Act, air quality, climate change, renewable energy standards and energy availability.
Tax transparency at the pump
My House Bill 1633, that would make the posting of state and federal fuel tax rate information by fuel pump inspectors permanent, was passed unanimously by the House Transportation Committee last week. Last year, it passed the state House of Representatives by a vote of 92-2 and I am hopeful we will be sending it to the Senate again soon.
My bill makes a law permanent that was part of the transportation budget last biennium. However, because it was only part of the budget, the law expired in June.
Office of Equity
One of the first bills the House of Representatives passed this session is House Bill 1783 which creates the Washington State Office of Equity. We want to make sure everyone is treated equitably, but this simply creates more state agency bureaucracy. It is difficult to determine why it is different than the many other commissions already in place to ensure equality and equity issues. Finally, this flies in the face of voters who rejected Referendum 88.
Follow the Legislature during the session. Below are a few helpful links that can keep you informed and updated on what is happening in Olympia.
- My legislative website: You will find my contact information, bio, news releases, email updates, videos, opinion pieces, bills, and other information.
- The Washington State Ledger: It is a legislative news aggregator administered by state House Republicans. It is a great source for information related to state government, public policy and the legislative process. Check it out!
- The Current: An online legislative publication from the Washington House Republicans.
- TVW: The state's own version of C-SPAN, TVW broadcasts floor and committee action live online.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about legislative issues before us this year please do not hesitate to contact me. Your feedback is important as we consider the many issues that impact our communities and state.
It is an honor to serve as your 12th District Representative.