Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Time has really flown by. We are now in Day 37 — a week past the halfway point of the 60-day session and racing toward the finish line. I am honored to be your legislator.
I wanted to take a few moments to provide this update and give you highlights of what has been a very busy legislative session.
Cutoffs and more
Our next major deadline is tomorrow, Feb. 19 at 5 p.m. That's known as “house of origin floor cutoff.” All bills must be passed out of their house of origin by that time tomorrow or they are considered “dead” for the session. Bills necessary to implement the budget are exempt from the cutoffs. You can view the session calendar here.
In anticipation of the floor cutoff, we have been working some late nights and even this past Sunday into the late night debating and passing more than 200 bills. Many of these measures are noncontroversial and bipartisan. Some were not.
As the Deputy Caucus Chair, I play a major role in the discussions of bills and issues in caucus before we go out onto the floor to vote. I'm honored to be involved in discussions about strategies of passing good bills and making sure bills that would not be in your best interest are either amended or stopped outright.
As I mentioned in my last email update a couple of weeks back, my House Republican colleagues and I are working on priorities that focus on three things: safety, affordability and accountability. Our House Republican website's Priorities page includes more about our 2020 agenda.
What's next? Revenue forecast and budgets
On Wednesday, the state's Economic and Revenue Forecast Council will be releasing its quarterly report of incoming revenues to the state. Writers of the state budget will be watching this carefully, because it will tell them what they need to know to book this revenue into the supplemental operating budget, which is expected to come out days later. We also will be considering capital and transportation budgets in the next three weeks.
Will we ever get $30 car tabs?
Last week, a King County judge dismissed all but two constitutional challenges to I-976. Many of us, like you, remain disappointed that the $30 car tabs remain on hold because two legal challenges remain.
Early in the session, our House Republican transportation leaders introduced legislation that would have immediately cut the car tabs down to $30 and preserved important transportation projects. More than 80 percent of those Rep. Chris Corry and I polled during our recent telephone town hall said the Legislature should establish $30 car tabs this year. We believe the Legislature should honor the will of the people. Unfortunately, the majority party did not allow those bills to move forward. So now we must wait for the courts to decide.
Travis alert follow-up bill awaiting House vote
We've seen Travis King a lot around the state Capitol the past two weeks. On Feb. 4, he came to testify on House Bill 2884, a measure I introduced that would enact the Travis Alert Program through the emergency 911 system. Then last week, Travis served as a page in the state House of Representatives.
You may remember Travis is the namesake behind the Travis Alert Act we passed in 2017 which provides information to first responders about individuals with disabilities or special needs before the emergency personnel arrive on scene. Travis has autism.
I'm pleased to say House Bill 2884 passed out of the House Housing, Community Development and Veterans Committee on Feb. 7. It is now awaiting a vote on the House floor.
- Read about Travis' service as a legislative page.
- Watch the video about House Bill 2884
- Listen to my radio show, Capitol Report, which features Travis and Threasa King
Dasher Evans serves as legislative page
I was also honored to sponsor 14-year-old Dasher Evans of White Salmon as my legislative page from Feb. 2 – 7. During his time at the Capitol, Dasher helped to deliver documents and messages to lawmakers and legislative staff. He also attended the Legislative Page School, learning more about the process of how a bill becomes a law. Pages earn $35 a day while serving in the program.
Dasher is the son of Charleton and Lisa Evans of White Salmon. Dasher is a student at Trout Lake School. In his spare time, he enjoys Kung Fu, card magic and target shooting.
To learn more about the page program, go here.
House approves Mosbrucker bills
I'm pleased to report five of my bills have cleared the House and are now in the Senate:
- House Bill 1056 would create a Joint Legislative Task Force to identify the role of the workplace in helping to curb domestic violence. Read my press release.
- House Bill 1750 would expand the list of people eligible to fill vacant positions within a county sheriff's office. Read my press release.
- House Bill 2092 would require huckleberry buyers to retain purchase records for at least one year that could be disclosed to law enforcement as a way to discourage mass harvest and destruction of huckleberry plants on public lands. Read my press release.
- House Bill 2792, also known as Cody's Law, could help solve missing persons cases in Washington by having investigating agencies submit those cases and DNA samples to a national database. Read my press release.
- House Bill 2819 would designate the proposed Goldendale Pumped Storage Project as a “Project of Statewide Significance.” The proposal involves construction of a hydropower project eight miles south of Goldendale at the former aluminum smelter along the Columbia River. Read more about it in this press release.
The House also unanimously approved House Resolution 4654, a measure I sponsored to bring more awareness to the issue of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and to encourage more physicians to specialize in this field of medicine. Read my press release on this issue here.
You can read more about all of my prime-sponsored bills here.
Telephone town hall provides valuable input
Many thanks to all of you who participated in the 14th District telephone town hall with me and Rep. Chris Corry, my seatmate. At one time in the call, we had more than 850 participants. A special thanks to KLCK Radio, Goldendale/The Dalles, for recording the program and posting it on their website. You can listen to it here.
Call, write or email my office
As your state representative, I always enjoy hearing from you. Your viewpoints are very helpful as I vote on legislation in Olympia. Please call, write or email my office if you have any questions, comments or concerns about legislation and issues involving state government. Also, be sure to let us know if you are coming to Olympia. I enjoy seeing people from back home who have made the trip to the Capitol. My contact information is below.
Honored to serve you,