Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I hope you are well and thriving. We have reached the halfway point of this session and in less than a week we'll conclude policy consideration for bills originating in the House. The last two weeks have been full of debates and votes and many significant bills have passed. However, first I want to say thank you again for allowing me to serve you. Please continue to contact me to offer your input.
Now let's get to the important policies and issues that are going to affect you the most.
I'm happy that every county in our state has advanced to Phase 2 of the governor's reopening plan. However, what's next? The governor apparently has no idea. He shared his roadmap to reopen two months ago. He still hasn't offered any kind of plan for Phase 3, or when counties will be able to open further.
Just as House Republicans were proactive with our budget proposal (click here to watch my video message about the Republican budget), we have also come up with a plan for Phase 3, which we unveiled this week. Our Phase 3 plan would be effective immediately and it would return kids to the classroom for in-person instruction. The hospitality industry (restaurants, bars, gyms, movie theaters, libraries), indoor weddings and religious services, and professional services would be allowed to open to 50% capacity.
It is time:
- For the Legislature to lead and make policy decisions.
- To get students back to school, sports, and activities.
- To get people back to work.
- To help those in crisis, including students, families, and businesses.
- To end the isolation of our children and seniors.
- To understand the larger context of public health – including mental health.
- To trust Washingtonians with their health and safety.
As this session has progressed, the majority party has made it increasingly clear that they don't support or understand law enforcement. The cry for defunding the police has turned into legislation for disarming the police. We opposed House Bills 1054 and 1267, which unfortunately, have both already passed the House. These bills will not only leave officers with fewer options to fight crime, but they will also reduce public safety in our communities.
It is true that we need to rebuild some of the trust that has been lost with law enforcement, but when policies are not balanced, it's hard to build that trust. Law enforcement officers need certain tactics and equipment to protect others and themselves. We will continue fighting against these bills and others still to come.
Low-Carbon Fuel Standard Passes the House
Another very important issue is the low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) bill, which unfortunately passed out of the House over the weekend. The debate lasted for more than five hours and Republicans offered nearly two dozen amendments, but only three of those amendments were accepted. Click here to read about my amendment, which was not accepted. Five Democrats, including the House majority leader, crossed the aisle and joined all 41 Republicans in voting against it.
This legislation, which the majority party has been pushing for several years, is bad for many reasons. LCFS is a regressive policy and hurts low-income individuals and families. Additionally, it offers no tangible benefit to air quality, meaning it will not impact our environment in a measurable way.
It is also bad for business, especially the thousands of businesses that rely on diesel for transportation. Lastly, it increases the costs of gas and diesel without generating any revenue for transportation projects, and those costs will be passed onto consumers.
We will continue to oppose this bill as it moves to the Senate.
Limiting Executive Power
Lastly, Republican lawmakers are very concerned with the governor's executive orders that are still in place. If the Legislature adjourns with the governor's wide-ranging proclamations still in effect, these proclamations will be very complicated to remove. As state lawmakers, we should be determining right now, during this session, how our state can and will move forward.
Many families and businesses are in crisis, but our state health emergency has subsided. The governor has responded to the emergency, which is part of his job. However, it's the Legislature's responsibility to address the subsequent policy challenges that should take place during this session. We will continue to push for limiting the governor's executive power, which will allow the Legislature to do its job.
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:
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 I'm here to represent the people of the 16th District. I look forward to hearing from you, so please don't hesitate to reach out to me, if you have any questions, ideas, or concerns. My virtual door is always open. You can connect with me via email, phone, or Zoom. Thank you for allowing me to serve you.
It's my honor.