Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends!
With election-year restrictions going into effect tomorrow through the start of 2020 session on Jan. 13, I wanted to send out a final email update this year. Topics in this update include:
- Upcoming town halls
- 2020 legislative priorities survey results
- A few bills I'll be working on during the upcoming session
- Contacting me
While I won't be able to send you any further communications until session starts, I will be able to respond to your emails, phone calls and letters. My contact information is at the bottom of this update.
Upcoming town halls
As a reminder, Sen. Rivers, Rep. Vick and I will be hosting three town hall meetings on Saturday, Jan. 4. Please come out and join us as we discuss the issues we're working on, provide a preview of the 2020 session, and take your questions. Town hall times and locations are as follows:
- 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. Port of Camas-Washougal, 24 S A Street, Washougal
- 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. Battle Ground City Hall, 109 SW 1st St, Battle Ground
- 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Clark County Fire and Rescue Station 21, 911 N 65th Ave, Ridgefield
2020 legislative priorities survey results
Thank you to the hundreds of you who responded to the legislative priorities survey I sent out last week. You taking the time to answer each question means the world to me, and your feedback is extremely helpful as I continue preparing for the upcoming session.
Survey results are as follows:
Q1. What do you believe is the top priority the Legislature needs to address during the 2020 session? (Responses are a weighted average)
Q2. Using the matrix below, if you could direct how $100 of your tax dollars would be allocated, how much of those dollars would you spend on…
- Funding an I-5 Bridge solution: $34.44
- Funding programs that treat mental illness and alcohol/drug addiction: $27.49
- Helping people on the brink of homelessness stay in their house or apartment: $21.60
- Increasing the supply of affordable housing: $16.47
Q3. Do you support replacing the gas tax with a pay-per-mile system?
Q4. Do you support a state income tax?
Q5. Would you support legislation to prevent local governments from implementing an income tax?
Q6. What is the most significant challenge your family faces on a monthly basis? (Responses are a weighted average)
Again, thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions. I hear you and recognize there is so much more we can be doing to improve public safety, make life more affordable, increase government accountability, and prioritize spending. That's what I'll be focused on during the 2020 session.
A few bills I'll be working on during the upcoming session
I'll also be working on several bills during the 60-day session. Below is a brief overview of three of them.
1. The first focuses on the Forestry Riparian Easement Program (FREP), which provides compensation to small forest landowners for trees required to be left next to streams, wetlands, seeps, or adjacent unstable slopes. FREP reimburses eligible landowners for a minimum of 50 percent of the value of the trees they must, by law, leave to protect riparian habitat. We're going to be working to fully fund this program, as it has been ignored for far too long.
2. The second bill I'm working on has to do with the Growth Management Act. The number of unrelated associations and groups that can bring an action before the Growth Management Hearings Board must be drastically reduced. Only individuals and/or groups that actually have skin in the game deserve a voice.
3. The third bill relates to the State Building Code Council. I was recently appointed to the council and was surprised to find out legislators are not allowed to cast a vote when motions are considered. I think that's wrong for a couple of reasons. One, I'm here to serve as your voice in all legislative capacities. Two, if the Legislature issues directives to statutory committees, legislators serving on these committees should have the responsibility and vote to assure those directives are followed. Period.
I welcome your thoughts on these bill ideas, as well as any ideas you have.
Please continue calling and emailing me with your comments, questions and concerns. I also welcome you to send an email to my legislative assistant, Virginia, if you would like to set up a time to meet with me at my district office in Vancouver.
It is an honor to serve you.