Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It's been a whirlwind week in Olympia, with the first round of legislative cutoffs now behind us. The major of these cutoffs was Wednesday, Feb. 17, when bills needed to pass their respective chambers to continue through the process this session.
I'm happy to report two of my bills passed the House this week and are awaiting Senate consideration:
House Bill 2287, or the Travis Alert Act – This bill received overwhelming support from the House this week and passed with a near-unanimous vote. It'll now get taken up by the Senate, and I will work with my colleagues in the other chamber to make sure it gets passed and signed into law this year. This is critical legislation for both emergency responders and individuals with special needs. You can read the press release sent upon the bill's passage here.
House Bill 2287 will be given a public hearing in the Senate Human Services and Mental Health & Housing Committee Monday, Feb. 22.
House Bill 2711 – My bill that would commission a study to determine the availability of sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs) in Washington, and make recommendations for improvements, unanimously passed the House.
Several more of my bills are still moving through the process and some are scheduled for hearings next week. This includes my bill that would align federal and state payroll laws. Due to conflicting laws, some counties have been out of compliance with the IRS. The bill was requested by Yakima County Auditor and my predecessor Charles Ross. I'm so thrilled this legislation is still moving in Olympia, and I hope I can soon report with even better news that the bill will be enacted into law. This would be a major win for Yakima county. The bill, House Bill 2391, was heard in the Senate Government Operations and Security Committee yesterday.
Mark your calendars, White Salmon
The Yes Vets program, which stems from the passage of my House Bill 2040 last session, is having its rollout Feb. 22 in White Salmon. Details are below. I hope you're able to make it out to the event to support veterans and businesses in our communities.
WHEN? Feb. 22 at noon.
WHERE? Skyline Hospital event space, 211 Skyline Drive, White Salmon
I want to thank Casey Roeder from the Skamania County Chamber, Dana Peck from the Goldendale Chamber and Maria Foley from the Mt. Adams Chamber, as well as the Washington state departments of Veterans Affairs and Employment Security, for making this event possible.
The Yes Vets programs will first be implemented in Skamania, Klickitat and Yakima counties as a pilot.
Hiring vets is good for the country and good for business!
Travis Alert and school bus safety on Charter Local Edition NW
I recently sat down with Dana Cowley of Charter Local Edition NW to discuss my Travis Alert Act legislation and my bill to study the costs and benefits of having seat belts on schools. Watch the short segment by clicking here, or on the image below.
There's only three more weeks left before the 2016 Legislature is scheduled to adjourn March 10. That said, there's a lot to accomplish in these next few weeks. I hope you will continue to contact me with your ideas, questions and concerns. Your involvement is so important to ensure government is working for you!
Honored to serve you,