Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Greetings from Olympia!
As most of you know, in late January, I suffered a heart attack and underwent quadruple bypass surgery. My recovery and rehabilitation are going well, and the doctor has cleared me to return to work in Olympia. I want to thank everyone for their prayers. I'm taking it easy and not overworking myself. It's so important that I'm back at the Capitol to cast my votes. We are starting to spend more time on the House floor. With my caucus in the minority, every vote counts.
We just hit our first deadline of the 2019 session – policy cutoff. What does this mean? Of all the bills introduced this year, only a certain number passed through their respective policy committees. Those bills that didn't pass, or were not even given a hearing, are considered dead.
In this update, I'll let you know the status of the bills I've introduced. For more information on what's happening in Olympia, and the bills we're voting on, please listen to the recent radio interview I gave on the Jason Rantz Show. You can listen by clicking on the photo below.
Legislation update | My priority bills
I want to extend another thank you to my colleagues who stepped up to the plate to cover my committee assignments, provide testimony on my bills, and assist in my caucus duties while I was away. Several of my bills continue to gain traction because of their hard work.
Here is a list of my priority bills that are still active:
- House Bill 1013 – This would extend the expiration date for the Walla Walla Watershed pilot local water management program. This bill passed unanimously through the House Rural Development, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. It's now in the House Appropriations Committee where it awaits further action.
- House Bill 1014 – This would require all motorcycle operators to be insured under a motor vehicle liability policy, or equivalent requirement for registered motor vehicles under current law. This bill passed the House chamber with a vote of 70-26, and is now in the Senate Transportation Committee awaiting a public hearing.
- House Bill 1469 – This would modify the provisions relating to approaching emergency or work zones and tow truck operators by reducing the speed limit for safety. This bill awaits executive action in the House Transportation Committee.
- House Bill 1499 – This would authorizes specific public facilities districts to establish recreational facilities. This policy is a priority for the City of Pasco. It would give the single-city PFD the authority to build an aquatics center. The bill has unanimously passed through the House Local Government Committee. It now sits in the House Rules Committee awaiting action and vote on the House floor.
- House Bill 1563 – This would add certain on-campus and field trip alcohol tastings to those eligible to receive the special permit from the Liquor and Cannabis Board that authorizes the tasting of alcoholic beverages by underage students enrolled in specified culinary or alcoholic beverage technology classes. This bill will significantly enhance the winemaking educational programs across this state. For more information, please read my op-ed by clicking here. This bill unanimously passed through the House Commerce and Gaming Committee. It now sits in the House Rules Committee awaiting action and vote on the House floor.
For more information on all the bills I've sponsored and co-sponsored, please click here.
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, capital and transportation. I'm working on a budget proviso in the transportation budget to secure funding for Hwy 221 in Prosser. Per mile, this is the highest fatality roadway in our state. If the funding is approved, it would allow for construction of turnouts and lane channeling along the highway to improve safety. I'll keep you posted!
It truly is great to be back serving the great people of the 16th District in Olympia. If you have any questions, comments or concerns about your state government, please contact my office.
It's an honor to serve you.