Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Now that the Legislature has moved past the opening week of ceremonies, I'm working toward adoption of legislation that would stimulate economic recovery in our state. Creation of jobs in the private sector must be a top priority of this Legislature. If we can put more people back to work, the overall well-being of our state will be better off.
As your state representative, I bring your voice to the table on issues that affect our district. To do so, I need to hear from you. Your views will help me as we debate legislation that could have an impact on you and your family. It's important that you remain informed and involved. This can be done in a number of ways.
Watch the committee schedules online at http://www.leg.wa.gov/pages/home.aspx and come to Olympia to testify. All committee dates and times are available on this Web site. As hearing dates approach, the agenda is posted. You can also read about newly-introduced bills from the Web site listed above, and can create a personal tracking system for legislation. I also encourage you to check for the latest news and information from my Web page at: houserepublicans.wa.gov/Kristiansen. On my Web site, you can e-mail me with your thoughts and concerns about legislation.
We have a citizen Legislature which works best when you are involved. So I look forward to hearing from you. Together we can work for a better Washington for us and our families.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.
Getting Washington working again
In the past, I have stressed the importance of reducing costs that burden small businesses and entrepreneurs across the state. Now, more than ever, we need to get government off the backs of our employers so they can create jobs. By doing this, in turn the state economy will be positively impacted. A number of bills have been introduced in response to the need for productive action by state legislators in support of local employers. One of these bills, which I have signed on as a co-sponsor, is House Bill 1151. The goal of this particular piece of legislation is to ease the regulatory burden placed on Washington businesses.
Other things we can do to help our employers and attract new business investments include reforming our state workers' compensation and unemployment insurance programs. The costs of these programs are becoming job-killing obstacles for small businesses.
We must also streamline our state's permitting process. Long delays in obtaining permits is a barrier to employers looking to expand in Washington.
Oversight of government appropriations is another step towards creating and sustaining an efficient financial plan. To help achieve a balanced state budget, a number of bills have been drafted. House Bill 1344 would establish a budget sunshine act. Basically, this bill would prevent the Senate or the House of Representatives from voting on an operating, capital, or transportation budget bills within 72 hours of when it was last amended. This gives lawmakers and the public time to read and understand the budget bills and propose any changes before the legislation comes to a vote.
The best part of my job
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of meeting with students from Arlington who came to the state Capitol. As we stood next to a bronze bust of George Washington in the rotunda, one of the students asked me, “What is the best part of your job?” “This is,” I told her. I enjoy meeting with people, especially students, and helping to educate them about our state government. Each of us has a stake in the future of our state. Understanding how your government works and becoming involved by voting, testifying on legislation, or even running for office is how we can provide for a better future for our communities and our families. We are fortunate to have a government of, by and for the people. So the best part of my job is meeting the people, listening to the people, and serving the people of the 39th District.
I encourage you to visit your state Capitol.
In your service,