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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

It's hard to believe, but we're now more than halfway through the 2019 legislative session. Over the past two weeks, I have spent the vast majority of my time with my colleagues on the House floor voting on bills. After a lot of early mornings and long evenings voting “Yea” or “Nay” on dozens of policy proposals, we finally arrived at House of Origin cutoff on Wednesday. This cutoff is critical because any bills that were not brought to the floor of the chamber in which they were introduced by 5 p.m. on Wednesday are now considered dead for the year. The only exception are bills deemed necessary to implement the budget.

In my latest video update, which you can watch by clicking on the image below, I talked a little bit about some of the good and bad bills that were being considered in the run-up to House of Origin cutoff. I also gave a brief recap of the two town halls I held with Sen. Rivers and Rep. Vick in Yacolt and La Center earlier this month.

Speaking of town halls, the three of us will be hosting another one tomorrow at the Port of Camas-Washougal from 12:30-2 p.m. Please join us if you can!

An update on my bills

Two of my bills are still making their way through the legislative process this year.

House Bill 1176, which I discussed at length in my last email update, would assist the Department of Licensing in eliminating inefficiencies after its rollout of a modernized licensing system late last year. It would also streamline the licensing and exam process for small business owners and other applicants in a variety of professions. The bill was approved 96-0 by the House last month, and was voted out of the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee yesterday.

House Bill 1799 would allow state and local registrars to issue a short form death certificate that does not list a decedent's Social Security number, the names of their parents, or information about the cause and manner of their death. According to Lifelock, nearly 800,000 decedents are intentionally targeted in the United States every year by identity thieves. A short form death certificate would ensure sensitive personal information is kept out of the public domain, which would help thwart their efforts.

I believe this is the right path forward for our state, and was encouraged that the bill received unanimous approval in the House. It's now in the Senate Law and Justice Committee awaiting further action.

Fisheries management shouldn't be on anglers

Since April 2010, state law has mandated that all anglers who want to fish for salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River and its tributaries first purchase an endorsement—the Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement (CRSSE). According to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), nearly 1.6 million endorsements have been sold since then, generating more than $12 million to improve recreational fishing opportunities and manage fisheries throughout the Columbia River Basin.

The CRSSE program is scheduled to expire this June. However, a bill has been introduced to extend it to 2023. If that bill is signed into law, I hope it's the last time the program is extended through legislation, not because it's not important, but because the burden shouldn't be on anglers to fund it.

As the state experiences record revenues, it's time for lawmakers to step up. We need to be the ones to work together and secure funding in the budget for WDFW to increase hatchery production, improve fishing access, monitor salmon and steelhead fisheries, and conduct valuable research.

In the meantime, if the CRSSE program is indeed extended, I will be encouraging WDFW to put even greater focus on increasing hatchery production. Doing so would not only benefit sportsmen and sportswomen across our state, but it would also help increase the food supply for our struggling orca population.

Contacting me

Please continue contacting me with your thoughts, ideas and concerns about specific bills or anything else that's on your mind. My email address is larry.hoff@leg.wa.gov, and my phone number is (360) 786-7812.

It is an honor to serve you.

Sincerely,


Larry Hoff

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