Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Thank you to those of you who were able to join Rep. Brad Klippert and Sen. Sharon Brown and me at our telephone town hall last week. We had a great time interacting with constituents. We had over 2,000 participants with around 418 on the line at any one time. These events have proven to be an excellent way to hear from you and answer questions you have about the legislation and issues we're facing in Olympia.
Take my online survey!
Another way for you to stay involved and to let me know how you feel about some key issues is to take my online survey. Are you willing to pay 12 cents more at the gas pump in order pay for transportation improvements across the state? What should the Legislature do about some of the issues brought about by I-594? I want to know your thoughts. Please click here to take my very short online survey. I'll report the results back to you in a future e-newsletter. Thanks in advance for your willingness to stay involved in YOUR state government.
We're now past the policy and fiscal committee cutoff portion of the legislative session. Bills that are not deemed necessary to implement the budget (NTIB) and that have not made it through committee are considered “dead” for the rest of session. To view an updated list of some of the larger “dead/alive” bills, click here.
Gov. Inslee's carbon tax
In a previous e-newsletter, I told you about the governor's efforts to instill a carbon tax (cap and trade) on large employers and energy companies. There are serious concerns that this proposal will raise the price of food, energy and fuel for struggling families. My colleagues on the House Environment Committee tried to fight this bill, which was eventually passed through the committee on a party line vote. To view a short video on this effort, click here.
I have several bills still alive in the legislative process. House Bill 1145 would allow two or more county legislative authorities to hold joint meetings and vote on agenda items if they are dealing with issues of mutual concern. Under current law, county commissioners cannot meet together to discuss issues of mutual interest or benefit. This bill was worked on in conjunction with officials from Benton and Franklin counties and passed the House unanimously.
My bill (House Bill 1302) to clarify child abduction statutes and my bill to give tuition authority back to the Legislature and help keep tuition affordable (House Bill 1696) also passed the House unanimously.
I still have bills that may pass the House before the next cutoff, which is next Wednesday, March 11. I'll keep you posted.
Southridge High School student serves as legislative page
A big thank you to Brianna Lynch from Southridge High School who served as a legislative page last month. Brianna is the daughter of Scott and Caroline Lynch. She did a great job delivering messages and documents to legislators and staff around the Capitol campus.
Each year, students from around the state apply to participate in the legislative page program. Students spend a week attending page school, learning the inner workings of state government and assisting legislators on the House floor. Pages earn $35 per day while serving in the program.
To become a page, applicants must have a legislative sponsor, be between the ages of 14 and 16, and obtain written permission from their parents and school. For more information about the legislative page program, visit: http://www.leg.wa.gov/House/Pages/HousePageProgram.aspx.
Richland: 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Richland City Hall Council Chamber
505 Swift Blvd, Richland
West Richland: 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
West Richland Library Conference Room
3803 W. Van Giesen, West Richland
Kennewick: 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
City Hall Council Chamber
210 W. 6th Ave., Kennewick
Thank you for reading my e-newsletter and for staying involved. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact my office. We're here to serve you!