Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Welcome February! I hope everyone is enjoying our snowy winter wonderland! Be smart and stay safe out there.
Session is running full speed ahead. To date, we have seen over 1,700 bills introduced. Committee work and public hearings take the most of amount of our current time.
Also, in odd numbered years, such as this, the Legislature meets for a longer duration, 105-days, to write, review, debate and approve the state's main budgets: operating, transportation, and capital. There's a tremendous amount of work to be done by the finality of session on April 28.
In this update, I'll bring you up to speed on what happens when bad policy meets a united front, and things to be on the lookout for as session continues to roll along.
First introduction of bills
Let's talk procedure for just a minute. As I mentioned, we've seen over 1,700 bills introduced. Not all of these bills will make their way into a committee to be heard. Those that do make it will receive a public hearing. The committee will then have the opportunity to either vote the bill out or stop it in its tracks. Once a bill is voted out of committee, it lands in the hands of the Rules Committee. The Rules Committee will decide if the bill should move forward for a full vote by the entire chamber on the House floor.
Recently, the first bills of session were moved from the Rules Committee onto the House floor for a full vote. This will start to become a regular occurrence as our committee work slowly starts to wind down, and House floor action takes over.
Our first round of votes on the House floor were on good bills that strive to make a difference.
Standing up for what you believe is right
One of the main issues we seen thus far came in the uproar over Senate Bill 5326. This bill took direct aim at an entire industry of hairdressers and cosmetologists who rent space in a salon in order to conduct daily business.
The valiant efforts to voice your concern on this issue created one of the quickest and largest grassroots movements many of us have ever seen. You were not going to be silenced, or conned into falling for terrible policy. You stood up for what you believe in, for your businesses, and your overall livelihood. I commend everyone who came to Olympia, or contacted my office because you couldn't physically be here, to tell your stories and provide real-life proof that the decisions we make as lawmakers have direct impacts on our working-class. Your frustrations and concerns were heard and this bill is now dead in its tracks. This is a great example showing that you do have the power to influence which policy moves forward, and what doesn't, in your state Legislature.
There will continue to be extreme policies heard throughout the next few weeks. I urge you to continue to participate in the legislative process to make sure your ideas, concerns, frustrations and voices are heard. We live in a society that listens to the people. You have already proved the power of your voice!
Click here to look at upcoming committee agendas.
Click here to sign-up to testify at a public hearing.
And, as always, please contact my office if you can't come to the Capitol to be involved in the process. I'm your voice in Olympia, and I want to hear from you.
Things to come | Sound Transit reform
I'm in the process of working with my colleagues to re-introduce several transportation-related policies that didn't make it across the finish line in years past. These policies will bring reform to Sound Transit, ST3 projects and high car-tab fee relief, and the process for electing transit board members. Continue to follow these updates in the coming weeks for specific bill information.
Update on local transportation concerns
I heard from many of you voicing your concerns and frustrations over the scheduled right turn closure at 241st Ave SE and Hwy 410 in early 2019. This is a major intersection in our district. We have all felt the congestion restraints during rush-hour traffic in this particular spot. This closure would've made the problem even worse.
I'm happy to report that in a recent article in The Courier-Herald, WSDOT announced it will not move forward with this closure. This is good news!
It's an honor to serve you.