Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It's hard to believe that we're nearing the end of 2019, and the beginning of 2020 is right around the corner. Before we know it, the legislative session will be upon us on Jan. 13.
Since the final gavel closed the 2019 session, I've been home, hard at work for you. Because it's been awhile since my last email update, I wanted to take the opportunity to recap some of my interim work. I'll also provide a glimpse into what's ahead as we gear up for the 2020 session.
Riverside Park boat slide-style launch made possible by capital budget funding
As part of the 2019-21 capital budget, I was able to secure funding for Washington state's first slide-style boat launch at Riverside Park in Sumner. This slide will allow boats to access the Puyallup River, something that wasn't possible in the past. This will be good for recreational use and also as a new entry point onto the river for Search and Rescue personnel during an emergency.
I had the opportunity to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony with Pierce County Councilwoman, Pam Roach, to celebrate the efforts of our state and local government partnership in making this boat slide a reality.
Interim committee work
During the interim, we're selected to serve on several statutory committees. These bipartisan committees help inform legislation and state policy for future legislative sessions. I serve on the following:
- Washington State Institute for Public Policy. This committee carries out practical, non-partisan research at legislative direction on issues of importance to our state.
- Hate Crime Advisory Workgroup. This workgroup develops strategies to raise awareness and appropriate responses to hate crime offenses and incidents; to strengthen law enforcement, prosecutorial, and public K-12 school responses to hate crime incidents through enhanced training; and to support victims of hate crime incidents.
Gearing up for the 2020 legislative session
During the summer, House Democrats elected Rep. Laurie Jinkins of Tacoma to serve as the next House Speaker. She is the Speaker-designate until session begins in January, when her confirmation becomes official. I've had the opportunity to sit down and chat with her to discuss the best ways our caucuses can work together in 2020. I've had a good working relationship with her serving as the ranking Republican on the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee. I look forward to working with her in her new role as Speaker of the House.
Recently, lawmakers returned to Olympia for what is known as Committee Assembly Days. This is our starting point to reconvene in our committees and begin the framework for the issues we'll be hearing during the 2020 session. This interim, we held two separate Committee Assembly Days – one mid-September and one in late November.
I serve on the following committees and here's a few issues we will likely see on the table:
- House Capital Budget Committee. We will be working on the supplemental capital budget. This is the state's infrastructure improvement and construction budget.
- House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee. I will continue to serve as the ranking Republican on this committee. We will be working on issues surrounding property rights and landlord-tenant rights to mention a few.
- House Transportation Committee. We will be working on the supplemental transportation budget, including the impacts of Gov. Inslee's veto directing project funds to fish culverts; Initiative I-976, Sound Transit and the Supreme Court decision; the road usage charge and gas tax; and rail, including the Cascade line.
And finally, serving in one of my leadership roles on the caucus Floor Leader team, I've been working closely with staff during the interim in preparation for the 2020 session. We continue to work through strategies and ideas to bring forward our agenda. Right now, we're guided by these three intentions:
- You should never fear for your safety in your home and community;
- The actions of the Legislature should not increase your cost of living; and
- Your public officials should be held accountable for their actions.
Stay tuned to upcoming updates as we gear up to formally role out our 2020 agenda.
To stay current on what's happening within our caucus, please follow us:
- House Republican Caucus website: houserepublicans.wa.gov
- Facebook: @wahouserepublicans
- Twitter: @wahousegop
- Instagram: @wahouserepublicans
House Page Program
Did you know the House of Representatives has a page and intern program? These programs are a great way to keep our youth involved in their state government and receive hands-on experience in civic education. If you have a child in school who would be interested in these programs, applications are currently being accepted for the 2020 session.
Please visit this link for more information: http://leg.wa.gov/House/Pages/PageandInternPrograms.aspx.
Stay in touch with me!
Please reach out to my office to set up an appointment, to arrange a speaking opportunity, or to ask any questions you may have. My Legislative Assistant, Meagan Hillier, is happy to assist you.
It's an honor to serve you.