Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We have now been in session just over one month, with 72 days remaining to finish the people's work. Here's an update from the Capitol.
Snowstorm closes Capitol
For the first time in 26 years, an intense storm dropping nearly two feet of snow in the Puget Sound region all but closed the Legislature Monday. Committee hearings were canceled and only a few staff were on hand to help legislators who stayed in Olympia, unable to return home to their districts.
Committee hears missing and murdered indigenous women bill
Despite the snowstorm, representatives from Native American tribes throughout Washington state came to testify on House Bill 1713 on Tuesday. This is the legislation I introduced that would establish two intergovernmental tribal liaison positions within the Washington State Patrol (WSP) to assist in helping to investigate missing and murdered indigenous women in our state.
The legislation builds on progress we made with this issue from the measure I passed last year — House Bill 2951 — which brought WSP and other government agencies together with tribal organizations to study and identify the issue of missing Native American women in Washington state.
Among those testifying in support was Earth-Feather Sovereign, a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, who worked with me on both of these bills. You can watch her testimony here.
House approves tax-saving inspector bill
I'm pleased to report the House unanimously approved a bill I authored that would reduce costs to taxpayers.
The measure would allow inspections of factory-build housing and commercial structures built out of state to be performed by inspectors other than those from the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I).
L&I has been sending its inspectors overseas for as much as a month at a time at significant cost to the taxpayers. The agency regulates factory-assembled structures, such as mobile homes, manufactured homes, recreational vehicles and other structures. L&I inspectors check the standards on these structures before they are brought in to Washington state.
The bill would implement a better way to do this at a cost savings to taxpayers. Rather than sending L&I inspectors to the out-of-state/overseas site, the measure would allow the agency to delegate its inspection duties to a qualified inspection agency that is closer to where the structures are built. This would assure standards are met in a more cost-efficient manner and save you, the consumer, when purchasing these structures.
In the photo above, I asked members in the House for their support of the bill. It is now under consideration in the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee.
More than 1,100 participate in 14th District telephone town hall
I am grateful to all of you who listened and asked questions during the telephone town hall Rep. Chris Corry and I held Tuesday evening. We took questions from callers and more than 300 people took part in our survey questions.
Among the questions: Do you support a capital gains income tax? More than 91 percent of the respondents said “no.” Nearly 80 percent said they do not support legislation that would remove the ability of certain workers, such as hairdressers, construction workers, custodians and others, to be independent contractors. On the issue of whether to remove the personal/philosophical reason by parents to exempt their children from the measles vaccine, more than 50 percent said they do not support removing the exemption and many were undecided.
Our conversations with you and the survey results are helpful to us as we vote on legislation. Again, we thank you!
The Legislature has a series of self-imposed deadlines to keep us progressing, as we only have 105-days in total to finish the work of the people before our scheduled adjournment, April 28.
We are rapidly approaching our first major deadline on Friday, Feb. 22. That's the last day policy bills can be considered in their house of origin. Any of those bills that have not passed their respective committees by that date are considered “dead” for the session. The cutoff for fiscal bills (those that require funding) is one week later, March 1. There are exceptions to the cutoffs, which include bills necessary to implement the budget (known in Olympia as NTIB legislation).
To date, 1,110 bills have been introduced in the House, 975 in the Senate, for a total of 2,085 bills. The cutoffs will considerably winnow down the number of active bills.
Mosbrucker bills – Progress report
This year, I've introduced 17 bills. To date, public hearings have been held on 12 of my bills, and two more are scheduled to be heard within the week. Four of my bills have passed their respective committees. One bill has passed the House of Representatives. Many others are scheduled for a committee vote within the week. You can view all of my prime-sponsored bills and their status here.
Please keep in touch!
As we get closer to taking votes on the House floor, it will be essential to hear from you. You can read the bills scheduled for a vote on the House floor here. Please call, write or email my office with any questions or comments you have on the bills I've listed in this report or pending legislation. My contact information is below. I feel blessed to be your representative in Olympia!
Honored to serve you,