Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We have reached the halfway point of the 2022 legislative session. With just 30 days left, we still have much to accomplish. As we move forward and vote on dozens of bills in the coming weeks, my number one priority continues to be providing real solutions to the real problems our state is facing.
It's time to hold our current state leadership accountable for the problems Washingtonians continue to deal with on a daily basis. We are facing numerous difficult issues, many of which have been created or exacerbated by the current government leadership in our state. From homelessness and mental health to public safety and police reform, it's time for real solutions in Washington. We cannot continue trying to fix problems with the same Band-Aids that never work.
We have a surplus in state revenue, and we need to put money into transportation, into affordable housing, and helping those who suffer from mental illness, without raising taxes. We need to limit the governor's emergency powers and restore balance to the decision-making process during a state of an emergency. We also need to repair the fallout from the bad police reform legislation passed last year: specifically House Bill 1310 and House Bill 1054, which prevent law enforcement officers from pursuing suspects and assisting with mental health calls. These bills led to increased crime and have put our communities at greater risk.
The majority party needs to start rethinking how they treat public safety. They need to stop passing bills that make our communities and our law enforcement officers less safe. There are bad actors, and we need to make sure we are protecting people and communities, instead of leaving them more vulnerable and weakening our overall public safety.
Last, but certainly not least, I continue to focus on affordability in the state of Washington. Why are so many people facing homelessness? Why are so many people having trouble paying their bills, including fuel and their other basic daily needs? The cost of living keeps going up, while state government continues to have record income. We cannot afford any additional taxes. When will there be tax relief for those who need it? Instead, majority party Democrats continue to take more of our money and misuse it in failed attempts to fix problems, many of which their bad policies have created, like the long-term care insurance program payroll tax.
House Republicans have offered numerous real solutions to address each of these issues, but the majority party continues to pass bills that don't fix the problems. The people of Washington need policies that work, and Republicans will continue to provide those real solutions.
Update on My Legislation
Two of my bills have made it out of committee this session.
House Bill 1930, which passed out of the House Consumer Protection and Business Committee, would modify the time to renew a cosmetology or similar license after it expires, but before it is canceled, from one year to three years. This would make life a little easier for the many people working in these professions.
Anything we can do to help individuals who have had to leave the workforce but are ready to get back in, is a step in the right direction. The bill was amended to only apply to those whose licenses have lapsed during the pandemic. However, I also plan to continue working with cosmetologists during the interim to develop more comprehensive legislation.
House Bill 1984, would require all paper-issued registration certificates for vehicles or trailers to omit the residential address of the registrant. Currently, a signed vehicle registration with the owner's address must always be carried in the vehicle. However, carrying a vehicle registration with the printed address provides an opportunity for thieves to break into a vehicle to access a person's address and use it for nefarious purposes.
This bill is a great way to protect people's privacy who have unfortunately been victimized by car theft. Washington is the eighth worst state for car theft, and we continue to climb. This is an issue that's only going to get worse. We need to protect people's personal information by making this small change to the vehicle registration certificate.
Both bills now wait for a vote on the House floor.
Update on Other Bills
In addition to the legislation I've been working on, I also want to update you on a couple other bills and their status. There are several bad bills still alive, but we have been successful in stopping a few poorly conceived bills that would have had terrible consequences.
One of those was House Bill 1692, known as the 'drive-by-shooting” bill. This policy would have eliminated drive-by shooting as a basis for elevating murder in the first degree to aggravated murder in the first degree. Thankfully, Republican efforts to stop this egregious legislation were successful, and this bill never received a hearing. This is exactly the kind of irresponsible policy that would hurt public safety, that the majority party needs to stop passing.
Another terrible bill that would have had major negative ramifications throughout the state was House Bill 1838. This bill, which did receive a public hearing, would've required landowners to set aside large, mandatory riparian buffers on each side of streams on their land to help salmon. Additionally, landowners who didn't plant trees along waterways crossing their property would've been subject to $10,000 daily fines.
Salmon recovery is vital to our state, but this legislation did not consider the impact on farmers' ability to make a living, on their property, or to Washington's food supply. If this bill had passed, large chunks of farmland would've been taken out of production, which would've severely damaged state food systems. Thankfully, we were able to prevent it from progressing further.
Join Us for a Virtual Town Hall
I will be joining my seatmates, Rep. Kelly Chambers, and Sen. Chris Gildon, for a virtual town hall meeting Thursday, Feb. 24. This town hall will be starting at 6:30 p.m. and held over Zoom.
Residents of the 25th Legislative District are invited to participate in this event, which will be a great opportunity to learn more about what's been going on in the Legislature this session. It's also the perfect time to share your ideas and concerns and ask us any questions you have.
We represent you in the legislative process and love hearing from our constituents. Your input is extremely valuable as we work to improve the lives of all those in Washington.
So, please join us on Thursday, Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m. and share what's on your mind.
Please click here to register for the event or on the image below.
Committee Assignment Update
I'm excited to report I've been appointed to another House committee. In addition to serving on the College and Workforce Development, Appropriations, Community and Economic Development, and Rules committees, I now have the privilege to serve on the Housing, Human Services and Veterans Committee.
I'm passionate about the issues addressed in this new committee. Our state continues to face a homelessness crisis, while the availability of affordable housing continues to decline. We need to improve the affordable housing situation in Washington without increasing taxes. We have enough surplus in our budget and federal recovery money to do this. I'm ready to jump in and do all I can to help overcome the housing issues we face, as well as doing anything we can to help our veterans.
Speaking of committees, I'm also very honored to be a part of the House Appropriations Committee. This committee looks at every bill that has any money tied to it, which has been both insightful and helpful. It has provided me with a lot of detailed information to help me make important decisions in my legislative duties.
Sign up for Text Alerts
You can now receive the latest news and information from the Legislature directly to your cell phone, via the House Republicans' new text alert system. Just click here or on the image below to sign up.
Thank you and Please Stay in Touch
Thank you so much for allowing me to serve. I take my duties and responsibilities as a state legislator very seriously. Please continue reaching out to me and sharing your questions, ideas, and concerns. You can reach me via the contact info below. I look forward to hearing from you.