Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It is my pleasure to bring you this first update of the year from Olympia on the work we are doing for the state and the 14th Legislative District.
New leadership roles
I was honored to be chosen as vice chair of the House Republican Caucus. In this new leadership position, I am assisting Caucus Chair Rep. Paul Harris, R-Vancouver, in presiding over daily caucus meetings when bills, amendments and voting are discussed. This new role puts me at the leadership table with House Republicans and gives me the ability to provide a stronger voice for the 14th District.
I am also continuing in my leadership role of ranking Republican on the House Labor and Workplace Standards Committee. Plus, I am busy serving on two other committees — Appropriations, which helps to write the state operating budget; and State Government and Tribal Relations, which considers issues related to state agency rulemaking, elections and government relations to Indian tribes.
Session now in full swing
Since the scheduled 105-day session began Jan. 14, I have been involved in a whirlwind of committee hearings, caucus meetings, floor sessions and meeting with constituents from within the district and throughout the state. I have also authored and introduced 12 bills on various topics important to our district.
Helping domestic violence victims break the cycle of abuse
In 2017, more than 54,000 domestic violence offenses were reported to law enforcement, and 49 domestic violence homicides were reported. For too long, the Legislature has turned a blind eye to this issue. Many people don't want to talk about it. People's lives are at risk and we need to bring this issue out from the shadows and have a serious look at it. This session, I have introduced three bills related to domestic violence:
- House Bill 1056 – Would create a task force to identify the role of the workplace in helping to curb domestic violence. The workplace is often the only place a victim of domestic violence can go to feel safe and share in confidence what has happened. The task force would work to explore ways in which the employer and employee community may help to curb domestic violence. Passed committee, awaits a vote on the House floor.
- House Bill 1532 – Would require the Department of Social and Health Services, to develop a handout on traumatic brain injury (TBI) that could be distributed to domestic violence victims. The pamphlet would explain the potential of domestic abuse leading to TBI, provide information on recognizing symptoms, and explain how to get help. Awaits a vote in the House Public Safety Committee.
- House Bill 1533 – Would require the Department of Employment Security to create a poster regarding domestic violence that would be displayed in the workplace. The poster would provide the names/information of domestic violence community resources to help victims find needed resources. Scheduled for a vote Feb. 4 in the House Labor and Workplace Standards Committee.
Missing and murdered indigenous women
Last year, after learning about the silent, but growing problem of missing and murdered indigenous women, I sponsored legislation that brought the Washington State Patrol together with tribes and tribal organizations. These groups held eight meetings across the state, including one in Toppenish in which 300 people attended, to discuss how to create a better response. We listened to the heartbreaking stories of tribal families' lives shattered by the loss of their women.
This year, I've taken the next step by introducing House Bill 1713. The components of this bill would:
- Establish two tribal liaison positions within the Washington State Patrol to build trust and help tribal residents feel comfortable coming forward when tragedies happen.
- Create a legislative task force on missing and murdered Native American women to improve monitoring and law enforcement response.
- Implement a best protocol for law enforcement response that includes setting up a database of missing Native American women and ensuring state and local jurisdictions are sharing information.
The bill contains an emergency clause that allows it to take effect immediately upon the governor's signature. The measure awaits a hearing in the House Public Safety Committee.
For more information about House Bill 1713:
- Watch Central Washington University's presentation/lecture
- Watch my Legislative Update video
- Listen to my Capitol Report radio program
- Read the Daily Record's (Ellensburg) news coverage
Other important Mosbrucker bills
House Bill 1070 – Would provide a tax exemption for sales of renewable gas, which would be helpful for the Klickitat Public Utility District's Roosevelt landfill operation, which produces methane gas. Passed the House Environment and Energy Committee. Referred to the House Finance Committee.
House Bill 1240 – Would establish the Washington Youth Suicide Review Team to study why Washington's suicide rate is so high for youth under age 24. Awaiting a vote in the House Health Care and Wellness Committee.
House Bill 1307 – Would provide a sales and use tax exemption for purchases made on behalf of Washington's 109 chapters of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFWs). Awaiting a vote in the House Finance Committee.
House Bill 1486 – Would allow the Department of Labor and Industries to delegate inspection duties to a qualified inspection agency that would inspect factory-built housing and commercial structures. In the House Rules Committee awaiting to be pulled to the floor for a vote.
For more information on these bills, click on the links above.
I want to hear from you!
It's important to hear your thoughts, views and concerns about state government. That's why Rep. Chris Corry and I will be holding a “Town Hall by Telephone” on Tuesday, Feb. 12, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. If you'd like to participate, call us during the date/time above at (509) 404-3052.
Also, you may call, write or email my office at any time. You'll find the contact information below.
Thank you for the honor of allowing me to serve you!
Honored to serve you,