Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We have passed the first cutoff dates for the 2015 session. That means any bills not making it out of their respective committees before these dates are likely dead this session. Bills necessary to implement the budget are exempt from cutoffs. For more information about our legislative calendar click here.
We are now spending our days on the floor of the House of Representatives voting on bills that made it out of the House committees and sending them to the Senate. We are expecting some long days and possibly nights, along with some possible weekend work. I am hopeful with this work schedule we will be home after the allotted 105 days.
Communicating with the district
I am working hard to stay in touch with the district. Along with responding to your emails and phone calls and sending out my email updates every two weeks, Rep. Johnson and I have a weekly conference call with the print media in the 14th District. Below are some other forms of communications we are utilizing this session:
- Capitol Report – A three-minute, weekly radio program (aired weekly on KVGD and KLCK) that discusses current issues of the 14th District and the state. Click here to access my Capitol Reports and additional audio from the session.
- Video updates – Every week, I record a new legislative video update with the latest news from the Legislature. You can view my reports here on YouTube.
- Check out my website – www.representativeginamccabe.com. From this link, you can get more information about me, the bills I've sponsored and view my news releases.
- Photos – Access my photo gallery here.
In this legislative update I want to share:
- a status report on my prime-sponsored legislation;
- an update on the proposed increase in the minimum wage; and
- some information on district projects I have been working on that may be considered for the capital budget.
My House Bill 2040, promoting a One Business, One Vet campaign, passed the House unanimously on Thursday night. The bill is now headed to the Senate for further consideration.
Bill #2 – Cracking down on voyeurism crimes
My House Bill 2042, which would create a new crime of voyeurism in the second degree punishable as a gross misdemeanor offense, could be voted on by the full House in the next day or two. I sponsored this legislation because of the increased problem of “up-skirting” and under current law it is extremely difficult to prove and prosecute voyeurism crimes.
Bill #3 – Internet Tax Freedom Act
House Bill 2166 would prohibit states from imposing sales or use tax on telecommunications service used to provide internet tax service. The reason this is needed is because the federal law in place preventing this tax from happening expires Oct. 1, 2015. We don't want to wait until this sunsets and give the state the opportunity to add a Washington state tax to our internet.
Minimum wage bill passes House
This week the House voted to increase the minimum wage to $12 an hour over the next four years. It passed by a vote of 51-46. After passionate speeches from both sides, including my first floor speech, I understand both sides. However, I have real concerns this will put jobs at risk, especially for our small employers and in our rural communities. I understand the impact this will have on our employers. The bill is now in the Senate for further consideration.
I have received some requests for projects around the district that may be eligible for capital budget funds. The capital budget provides infrastructure for K-12 education, higher education, correction facilities and other projects, while also providing maintenance and repair where it is needed most. Projects I have been contacted about include the:
- Twin Bridges Museum in Lyle updating the heating system;
- Centerville School District, updating the heating system (they are still using radiators); and
- Yakima Valley Museum design support for the proposed expansion and reconstruction of the hands-on children's museum center.
What additionally can I do to help you?
State government can seem distant. If you have a problem with state government and don't know where to begin or who to call, perhaps our office can help. Write or call explaining the problem and we'll do our best to assist you. If you have ideas or comments about state government or legislation, we'd like to hear from you.
It is a great honor to serve the citizens in the 14th District. Thank you.
Honored to serve you,