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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Thanksgiving is a time of togetherness and gratitude. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving with friends and family. We should all cherish the time we have together.

Time is flying by so fast! Christmas and New Year's Day are just around the corner and soon afterward, the 2022 legislative session will begin on Jan. 10. There's news to discuss as we prepare for the session. I wanted to take a moment to provide this update and wish you a happy holiday season!

Reforming the police reform bills

In my previous email update, I discussed concerns with recent new police reform laws that took effect in July. As the ranking Republican on the House Public Safety Committee, my number one goal is to protect and preserve public safety in our cities, communities, neighborhoods, and rural areas across our state.

I've met with law enforcement officials in the 14th District and across Washington who told me about their frustrations with the new laws. They feel the reforms have often tied their hands when it comes to doing their jobs and ensuring public safety. 

I'm concerned these recent policies have made our communities less safe and are driving good law enforcement officers out of the profession at a time when we need them the most.

The Public Safety Committee members and I have worked to draft new legislation for the coming 2022 session that will fix these laws passed during the last session. Our goal is to restore tools for law enforcement officers that are necessary for them to preserve public safety. We are also looking into funding a program that would promote law enforcement and correction recruitment efforts.

TVW's Inside Olympia recently invited me to be their guest to discuss these concerns and our plans for the coming session. You can watch the program here.

Drug deregulation also threatens public safety

Another issue that has made our communities less safe this year is the deregulation of drugs. On Feb. 25, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled in State v. Blake that Washington's simple possession drug law is unconstitutional. This created a major problem for our courts, our jails, and law enforcement officers, and overturned sentences for many convicted drug offenders, putting them back on the street.

My House Republican colleagues on the Public Safety Committee and I immediately responded by introducing several bills and amendments to fix these issues. These proposals will be reintroduced in the coming 60-day session.

I am concerned this problem will continue to worsen. Drug use is growing every day and law enforcement officers have very little power to stop it. We need to help people who are suffering from substance abuse disorder. It should never be okay to do nothing.

We need to provide additional resources to get real help to those experiencing problems with substance abuse and make sure proper measures are in place to protect our communities.

Task force on missing, murdered Indigenous women to hold first meeting in December

As you may be aware, I have been working for more than five years with our tribes across the state to bring attention to the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) and People in Washington.

In 2018, I introduced House Bill 2951, which created a study to increase state resources for reporting and identifying missing Native American women throughout Washington state. In 2019, the Legislature passed and the governor signed House Bill 1713, a landmark measure I authored that established two tribal liaison positions within the Washington State Patrol (WSP) to build relationships between governmental organizations and native communities. Earlier this year, I introduced House Bill 1571, which focuses on bringing missing people home.

As part of these efforts, State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced in May the formation of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and People Task Force. I was honored to be appointed to this group. The goal of the 23-member task force is to assess systemic causes behind the high rate of disappearances and murders of Indigenous women and coordinate a statewide response to the crisis.

The task force will review current practices relating to data collection and reporting on Missing, Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) cases, review prosecutorial trends, identify resources to shore up victim services, and make recommendations to improve training for those who work tribes and tribal communities. The task force's work will culminate in two reports to the governor and Legislature in August 2022 and June 2023. 

The first public meeting of the group will be held later this week, Dec. 2 and 3, at Legends Casino in Toppenish, and is co-hosted with the Yakama Nation. For more information and to register for the event, go here. You can also watch the event online on TVW.

Priorities and solutions in the 2022 session

As a part of the House Republican leadership team, I have spent the interim interacting with constituents, meeting with stakeholders, and helping to craft real solutions to the problems facing our state. In the 2022 legislative session, House Republicans plan to:   

Here is some of the constituent-request legislation I will be reintroducing in the 2022 legislative session:

The current 14th Legislative District

Redistricting is now in the hands of the state Supreme Court

Thank you to all who provided testimony in the redistricting hearings. Unfortunately, the Washington State Redistricting Commission was unable to meet its midnight deadline on Nov. 15 to complete the redrawing of our state legislative and congressional districts. The commission did agree on maps after the deadline and submitted them to the Washington Supreme Court. The responsibility is now in the hands of the court. It has until April 30 to draw new boundaries or the court could agree to what the commission came up with as the deadline passed.

The 14th District would look much different than it does now under the last proposal put forward by the commission. Under the commission's last plan, the new 14th District would cover the western part of Yakima County and all of Klickitat County. That includes Selah, the west side of Yakima, Wapato, Toppenish, White Swan, and Goldendale. It would no longer include Skamania County and the east portion of Clark County that is currently in the district.

You can check out the final proposed congressional and legislative maps here.

COVID-19 2022 session operations plan

The state House of Representatives now has a COVID-19 2022 session operations plan, approved by the House Executive Rules Committee. All four Democrats voted in favor and all three Republicans voted against it.

We continue to be concerned about transparency and the opportunities for the public to be involved. Unfortunately, the majority party has again chosen to limit public access to the Capitol Campus and member offices and will conduct committee hearings remotely. Despite these obstacles, there are still several ways for you to be involved in the legislative process. This web page is a great resource for you. I highly encourage your participation!

Your involvement and input are vital to the legislative process!

Some of the best ideas for legislation begin when I receive calls from the citizens I serve. Your involvement is key to the success of good public policy. Keep in mind, it is a short session, and it will go fast. With that in mind, I urge you to stay engaged. Below are a few websites or links that will help you keep tabs on what is happening in Olympia.

  • My legislative website: You will find my contact information, bio, news releases, email updates, and other information.
  • How you can be involved in the legislative process: This includes a citizen's guide to effective legislative participation.
  • TVW: The state's own version of C-SPAN, TVW broadcasts floor and committee action live online.
  • The Ledger: A legislative news aggregator that is updated frequently.
  • Capitol Buzz: Sent out each weekday, featuring stories from media outlets throughout the state, including newspaper, radio, and television.
  • The Current: This an online legislative publication from the Washington House Republicans that is sent out every week during the legislative session and every month during the interim.

Capital budget requests

The House Capital Budget Committee is accepting submissions for 2022 local and community project funding requests. If your community group, non-profit, local government, or other local entity is seeking funding for a project that would have significant benefit to the public, you can apply through a competitive process for capital budget funds. Contact my office for the 2022 Local Community Project Information Form. The deadline for submission is noon, Jan. 22, 2022.

Email update restrictions

Due to state ethics laws, I am not allowed to send any more email updates until the legislative session convenes on Jan. 10. However, if you have any questions about this update, the upcoming session, or state government-related matters, please call my office. My contact information is below.

Thank you for the honor of allowing me to serve and represent you! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Honored to serve you,

Gina Mosbrucker

State Representative Gina Mosbrucker, 14th Legislative District
431 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 761-1194 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000