Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Earlier this month before the 2020 legislative session got under way, Sen. Rivers, Rep. Vick and I held three town halls in Washougal, Battle Ground and Ridgefield. Thank you to those of you who joined us to share your thoughts, ideas and concerns on issues that not only affect our communities in the 18th, but so many communities across our state. Your feedback helps the three of us do our jobs more effectively, so please continue joining us for town hall meetings, and keep the calls and emails coming.
I also encourage you to stay informed and involved this session by:
- Bookmarking my legislative website, where you can find my latest press releases, op-eds, video updates, radio interviews, and more.
- Following House Republicans on Twitter and Facebook, and sharing our posts.
- Visiting The Ledger every day. The Ledger is a new legislative news aggregator that features the top stories from around the state.
- Watching TVW's “Legislative Review,” which airs nightly and gives viewers a 15-minute overview of what happened that day at the Capitol.
Critical issues this year
In my first video update of this year's 60-day session, I touched on a number of critical issues before the Legislature, including $30 car tabs, parental rights for sex ed, and the governor's insufficient response to the homelessness crisis.
Take a look:
Speaking of $30 car tabs, House Republicans firmly believe all lawmakers should respect the will of the voters and work to implement the provisions of I-976 this year. Last week, our caucus rolled out a comprehensive transportation package that would do just that, while also establishing a new funding source for transportation and working to cut WSDOT bureaucracy instead of projects. You can learn more here.
Another emerging issue is the effort by the majority party to hinder Washingtonians' Second Amendment rights. On Tuesday, a number of restrictive gun bills were heard in the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee. It's abundantly clear to me, as I hope it is to you, that law-abiding gun owners are not the problem. And yet it's these folks who may see their rights taken away by 57 lawmakers, most of whom represent the Puget Sound area.
While our caucus is in the minority, I promise you we will continue standing up and speaking out for all your constitutional rights this session.
Addressing local jobs: Alpha Iron tour in Ridgefield
On Jan. 3, Rep. Vick and I had the opportunity to tour local steel fabricator Alpha Iron, which has operated in Ridgefield since 2007 and employs 120 people. After the tour, we sat down with the owners for a discussion about how Washington's prevailing wage law is making it harder for them (and other companies in Clark County) to compete for local projects. That's because Clark County's prevailing wage is more than double what it is in several other counties, including King, Chelan and Spokane.
It was a productive conversation that included Department of Labor & Industries Director Joel Sacks. We will continue working on this issue and pressing for a solution that would create more local jobs and spur economic growth.
If you are interested in hosting a tour or simply sitting down with us to discuss the issues impacting your business, please contact either of our offices.
House Page Program
Here in the House, students ages 14 to 16 have an excellent opportunity to get involved in their state government by serving as a page for a week. Students in the House Page Program attend page school every day, deliver messages and documents to legislators and staff, and fulfill other tasks critical to the efficient operation of the Legislature.
To apply, students must have a legislative sponsor and obtain written permission from their parents and school. If you know of someone who you think would be a good candidate to serve as a page for a week, please contact me. To learn more about the House Page Program, click here.
As always, please feel free to call (360-786-7812) or email me any time with your questions, comments or concerns about this year's legislative session or anything else that's on your mind. I look forward to hearing from you.