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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Here in Olympia, you never quite know what issues are going to emerge and draw the most attention. The biggest story so far this session has been the incredible grassroots movement of small business owners speaking out against a number of Democrat-sponsored bills that threaten their livelihoods.

Hair stylists recently came to the Capitol in droves to protest against Senate Bill 5326, which would force them to work for companies as commission-based stylists as opposed to remaining independent contractors. Their response was so effective, the sponsor of the bill ended up pulling it from consideration. Unfortunately, several other bills targeting independent contractors are still alive.

Imagine setting out on your own and successfully running a business, only to be told by politicians that you could no longer call your own shots and would now have to work for an employer. That's the prospect these individuals are facing.

If Democrats in the House and Senate truly believe their increased majorities give them license to impose their will on small business owners, they better be prepared for the backlash. I would just note that many of the protestors told us they had been Democrats their entire lives and couldn't believe their own party would do this to them.

Our message to those folks is this: House Republicans will always stand with individuals who have the entrepreneurial spirit and intestinal fortitude to start their own business and make their own way. Small business owners are heroes, and we will do everything in our power to help them succeed.

My bills

Below is a brief overview of the three bills I've prime-sponsored this session, all of which have bipartisan support. Please feel free to contact me with your comments or questions about these proposals. I also welcome you to share any ideas you have for legislation that would make a positive difference for our communities in the 18th.

House Bill 1176 would benefit both consumers and state agencies by making a number of changes to improve agencies' customer service practices, eliminate inefficiencies, and streamline inter-agency communication. The bill was unanimously approved in the House Consumer Protection and Business Committee, and then advanced out of the House Rules Committee last week. It now awaits a vote on the floor of the House.

House Bill 1506 would amend the Growth Management Act (GMA) to specify that extensions of urban governmental services—storm, sanitary, emergency, etc.—to rural areas can occur when it is necessary to protect the environment OR public health and safety, rather than the environment AND public health and safety.

La Center Mayor Greg Thornton came to Olympia last week to testify on the companion bill in the Senate. He talked about how the word “and” in the GMA has really hampered the ability of small cities like his to provide the best services to individuals and businesses. I encourage you to watch his full testimony here. HB 1506 is currently in the House Environment and Energy Committee.

House Bill 1799 would protect the privacy of a decedent and his or her family by authorizing the creation of a short form death certificate. The short form would provide proof of death, but would not include the decedent's cause of death, their social security number, or the names of their parents. That information would be kept confidential. HB 1799 is currently in the House Health Care and Wellness Committee.

Gun legislation proposed this session

There have been 30 gun bills introduced so far this session—21 by House Democrats and 9 by House Republicans. For the full list of bills, click here.

As a gun owner and avid hunter, I'm fully aware of the ongoing efforts by some in the Legislature to weaken gun rights in Washington state. Unfortunately, many lawmakers have resorted to a “let's just do something” approach in the wake of the horrific violence we've seen in our state and across the country. However, I remain unconvinced by the argument that in order to stop the next attack, we must take rights away from the innocent. That just doesn't make sense to me.

The right to keep and bear arms is constitutionally protected in both the U.S. Constitution and the Washington State Constitution. Some lawmakers may be willing to brush that aside, but I'm not. Neither are my 40 colleagues in the House Republican Caucus. We will continue standing with law-abiding gun owners and speaking out against irresponsible policy proposals.

Contacting me

Please continue contacting me with your thoughts, ideas and concerns. Your feedback helps me to better serve you. My email address is larry.hoff@leg.wa.gov, and my phone number is (360) 786-7812.

It is an honor to serve you.


Larry Hoff

State Representative Larry Hoff, 18th Legislative District
406 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 419-5592 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000