Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We're now about halfway through the 105-day regular session. The first committee cutoff has passed and we'll spend the next week or so on the House floor debating and voting on legislation. Bills that have not made it through the committee process (other than those considered “necessary to implement the budget”) are considered “dead” for the session. To see a list of some of the major bills that are dead and some that are still moving through the legislative process, click here.
My bill to prevent the geographical misrepresentation of businesses (HB 1422) passed the House this week, 94-3. This idea was brought to me by local flower shops in the 39th District who grew frustrated by the advertising of out-of-state national companies as “local” flower shops. Customers who want to support local businesses are duped into thinking they're calling a local flower shop when they're really calling a large phone bank ordering business who then charges a fee and passes the order on to someone else. This bill is a great example of problem solving at the local level and how staying involved in your government benefits us all.
To read an excellent article in the Monroe Monitor on this bill, click here.
To listen to a recent interview I did with Jeff Rex on KBRC/KAPS radio where I discuss this bill and other issues, click here.
Gov. Inslee's carbon tax proposal
By now, many of you have heard of our governor's continuing attempt at a radical environmental agenda. His latest proposal is to levy a carbon tax on certain large employers – like Boeing – and energy producers to the tune of a billion dollars! Despite the sketchy history of cap-and-trade programs and other “green” schemes all over the national and world, our governor seems intent on actions that will raise the price of food, fuel and energy for consumers who can least afford it.
Washington is already one of the greenest states in the nation. If you eliminated every car, truck, plane, boat, factory, person and animal in the entire state, global greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by less than three-tenths of one percent!
To watch a short video about how my colleagues on the House Environment Committee tried to fight this bill in committee, click here.
Local intern serves in state Legislature
I am extremely lucky to have such a hardworking, pleasant and local intern working with my office in Olympia. Russell Wiita is a senior at the University of Washington. He splits his time working for my office and the offices of two other state representatives, my seatmate, Rep. Dan Kristiansen, and Rep. David Taylor. Russell has done a fantastic job researching legislation, keeping track of certain bills, answering phones, responding to constituents, and just about every other thing we've asked him to do. It's so nice to have a local student who knows the people and the issues we face in the 39th District. Thank you, Russell!
To read a nice article on Russell in the Monroe Monitor, click here.
Take my online survey!
Do you support a 12-cent increase in the state gas tax to help pay for transportation projects? Do you support the governor's efforts to levy a carbon tax on employers? What would you like the Legislature to focus on this year? I want to know. Please take a moment to participate in my online survey. Click here and let me know what you think about some of the issues facing us in Olympia.
It's certainly not necessary, but it is nice to be recognized for your hard work. I was very pleased to be given two awards last week. The 2014 Legislator of the Year Award from the Hunters Heritage Council, and the 2015 Legislator of the Year Award from the Safari Club International. My family has always been a big supporter of our Second Amendment and hunting rights. I know the vast majority of residents in the 39th District feel the same way. I heard you loud and clear as I door belled our communities last summer. I'll continue to fight to protect our rights from encroaching bureaucratic regulations.
Thank you for reading my e-newsletter and for staying involved. It is an honor to be your voice in the state Legislature.
436 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
360-786-7816 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000