Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It was my honor as House Republican leader to deliver remarks during opening ceremonies of the first day of the 2016 session on Jan. 11. I talked about the importance of working together, Republicans and Democrats, to address the issues of the session and have our work completed within the allotted 60 days. You can view my floor speech here.
Top priorities of the session
There are many things to be accomplished before March 11, the final scheduled day of the 2016 session. We have boiled down our goals into four top priorities:
- Provide students with a world-class education – This includes keeping the Legislature on track as it relates to education funding and the McCleary decision, and finding solutions to help restore charter schools in Washington.
- Empowering families and strengthening communities – This means finding ways to increase job opportunities in Washington, especially since 37 of the state's 39 counties have unemployment levels that are still above the national average for jobs.
- Protect taxpayers and hold government accountable – With unemployment and underemployment still at high levels, we need to protect taxpayers and make government live within its means. Tax increases must be the LAST resort, not the first option.
- Safeguard our neighborhoods and schools – I have many concerns about the Department of Corrections letting prisoners out early. We need to hold state officials responsible, as well as work to increase public safety across our state.
If you would like to learn more about my session priorities, I invite you to watch my video update.
This week in Olympia
Here are some select House committee hearings going on this week at the John L. O'Brien Building, across from the state Capitol. For a full agenda of the House committees, go here. To learn how to testify in committee, go here. Click here if you are planning to come to the Washington State Legislature in Olympia. If you'd like to look up a bill, go to the Legislature's Bill Information Page. Finally, you can track bills by creating an account and going to the tracking page here.
Judiciary Committee – House Hearing Room A – 1:30 p.m.
Responsible storage of firearms – Hearing on House Bill 1747.
Extreme risk protection orders – Hearing on House Bill 2461.
Destruction of forfeited firearms – Hearing on House Bill 2372.
Local regulation of firearms in certain places – Hearing on House Bill 2460.
Concerning short-barreled rifles – Hearing on House Bill 2481.
FRIDAY, JAN. 22
General Government and Information Technology Committee – House Hearing Room C – 8 a.m.
Overview and updates from 10 commissions, including the Human Rights Commission and the Washington Citizens' Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials.
Multi-media communications – Keeping in touch with those I serve
One of the most important jobs I have is to listen and communicate with the people I serve. We have several great ways to provide information to the folks back home, including:
Also, I was recently interviewed on Mount Vernon's KAPS-KBRC Radio. You can listen to that interview here.
Thank you again for allowing me to serve and represent you. Should you have any questions, comments or suggestions about the topics in this email update or any legislation, please contact my office. My contact information is below.
In your service,