Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Welcome to the 2021 legislative session. My first session as your state representative will also be like no other legislative session ever experienced in Washington. I want to start by saying thank you for allowing me to serve as your 16th District representative. I'm already hard at work on your behalf and I look forward to bringing your voice to Olympia.
2021 Session to Be Held Virtually
This year's session began Monday, Jan. 11. Nearly every representative was present for opening day ceremonies – spread out throughout the legislative building. However, it's very likely most of us will not return to the Capitol again this year. If you haven't heard already, instead of meeting in-person, the Legislature will convene virtually, with the intention to keep everyone safe from the spread of COVID-19.
Although we would all like to be present in Olympia, the majority has decided to hold this session remotely. Conducting the people's business over phones and computer screens is not ideal, and there will likely be some challenges for both lawmakers and constituents. However, my fellow Republicans and I, will do everything we can to keep you informed and updated on what's happening in the Legislature.
You Can Still Make Your Voice Heard
Having a remote session doesn't mean you can't participate. In fact, if you want to testify on any bill or other important public policy, you can do so from anywhere you have Internet access. Use these links to sign up to testify remotely and make your voice heard:
My Focus for This Session
As lawmakers, we expect hundreds of bills to be introduced during this scheduled 105-day session. Many of these bills will cover very important policies and issues. However, the most pressing issue we face right now is our financial situation, including the state budget. The governor has already introduced a two-year budget proposal that is higher than the previous budget, which simply put, is not fiscally responsible.
Many members on the other side of the aisle are also looking to raise taxes. I strongly believe this would hurt Washington families and businesses even more than they're already hurting. The effects of the pandemic and the subsequent shutdowns and restrictions cannot be undersold. Small businesses are reeling and families and individuals throughout the state are suffering. Raising taxes now could be devastating to so many. To rebuild our economy, I believe we need to better use the resources we already have, rather than raising people's taxes.
I begin my service in the Legislature working on four committees, including the Environment and Energy Committee as the Assistant Ranking Member. I've also been assigned to serve on the Rural Development, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Committee, and the Transportation and Rules committees. I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and resolving the important issues that come before each of these committees this year.
Stay Connected with the Legislature
You can stay up to date with all the work happening in the Legislature. Here are some links that will help:
My legislative website | Here you will find my contact information, bio, news releases, email updates, videos, opinion pieces, bills, and other information.
The Capitol Buzz | A weekday roundup of online news stories. Click on the link to subscribe.
The Current | An online legislative publication from the Washington House Republicans. Click on the link to subscribe.
TVW | The state's own version of C-SPAN, TVW broadcasts floor and committee action live online.
The Ledger| A legislative news aggregator.
Legislature's website | Here you can find bill reports, committee agendas, and information about upcoming activities in the Legislature here.
State agencies | You can find a list of all state agencies, boards, and commissions here.
Tracking a Bill| Click here to find information on specific bills. In addition, when you visit my website you can easily view the legislation I'm sponsoring or co-sponsoring by clicking “Sponsored Bills.”
Thank You and Please Reach Out
As your state representative, I value your input and feedback. I'm here to represent the people of the 16th District and I look forward to hearing from you throughout this session. Please don't hesitate to reach out to me, if you have any questions, comments, ideas, or concerns. My “door” is always open. Additionally, I will be sending regular email updates, answering phone calls and emails, and meeting with constituents via Zoom. I also have a legislative assistant who is always available to assist you during business hours. Thank you for allowing me to serve you.