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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We've completed week two of the 2019 legislative session, and have started week three. We have already had early floor action. This means we've voted on bills that moved out of the respected committees and onto the House floor for the entire body to vote.
One of the contentious issues facing our state, and the nation, has been the divide between communities and law enforcement over officers' use of force. By the will of the voters, our state recently enacted a measure known as I-940, seen as the remedy to this issue. Unfortunately, the intentions of this measure placed officers' abilities to protect you and your communities at great risk. Stakeholders, community members, and law enforcement recognized the flaws in I-940 and came together hoping to find a unified consensus to make a very bad policy slightly better.
Recently, we had the opportunity to vote on the consensus, House Bill 1064. Although this consensus doesn't go far enough, it does provide better protections for law enforcement than current law. This is the best deal we could work out. I commend the stakeholders and proponents for keeping their promise and coming alongside law enforcement to find common ground on this sensitive issue. I supported their efforts and voted in favor of the solution, which provides clarifications and protections for my brothers and sisters in law enforcement. House Bill 1064 passed the House unanimously, 98-0. It will now move to the Senate, go through the same voting process, and then on to the governor for his signature.
Discussing current issues, bills, and committee work
At this stage of the game in session, we spend most of our time working on the bills that have been introduced through our committees, and the public hearing process. Some of the issues we've seen, or will soon come forward in our committees include:
- Gun control and gun rights
- Capital gains tax
- Climate change, including a low carbon fuel standard
- Booth ban
- Opioid prevention and treatment
- Public option health insurance
For more information on some of these topics, and my thoughts, please listen to the recent interview with KVI Radio.
There will continue to be extreme policies being introduced, by both parties, throughout the next few weeks. I urge you 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.
Click here to look at committee agendas for the week.
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.
It's an honor to serve you.
430 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7866 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000