Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The 2017 session is in full swing. I am honored and humbled to serve for a second term as your state representative in the 9th District. I continue to work hard on the issues facing our district and state, and creating opportunities for these challenges.
My key priorities for this session are:
- Agricultural regulation. Certain regulations harm our business and industries in eastern Washington and need to be changed.
- Broadband infrastructure. We need to bring adequate fiber infrastructure to the eastside of our state.
- Education. We will fulfill our paramount duty to fully fund basic education.
As always, I thank you for taking the time to read my update. Below, you will find more detailed information on my priorities, visitors to the Capitol, and staying in touch with me. Please feel free to share my email updates with your family, friends and neighbors, and encourage them to subscribe. I recommend you also listen to my audio updates. You can do so by clicking here.
Agricultural overreach and regulations
This session, I will proudly serve on the House Environment Committee. A major issue facing this committee is the HIRST Decision. This court decision involves exempt wells in rural counties across the state. The decision renders properties as less buildable, which decreases property value because it adds additional regulatory costs for the development of a well. This decision really impacts property values in eastern Washington. We have to fully fund basic education this session. Now, we have this decision impacting our property tax revenue that could go to fund our local schools. It really puts us in a Catch-22. I will keep you posted on the progress of this decision, including how it continues to impact our district and our ability to fully fund education.
Oil train regulations
Two years ago, we implemented a comprehensive oil train contingency planning bill. It ensures we are, as a state, prepared and trained to handle a catastrophic train accident or derailment. However, when the bill passed, it inadvertently included food grade vegetable oil. A product we depend on in eastern Washington.
Did you know we produce 57 percent of America's French fries, and 100 percent of Japan's? Regulating cooking oil like you would Bakken crude seems like a pretty big regulatory overreach. It also adds additional costs to our agricultural industry trying to produce and transport products. We aren't producing an ocean of oil, but these regulations have a significant impact on the industry. I have proposed legislation this session to remove agricultural oils from current regulations. I will keep you posted on the progress.
I welcome you to watch my current video update. This video will give you more information on the HIRST Decision and my work on oil train regulation reform. Just click on the photo below to watch the video.
Traveling to and from Olympia
It is always exciting to have constituents and groups visit me in Olympia. I greatly appreciate it when different people from all over the 9th make the long trek from eastern Washington to the Capitol!
Recently, the Vikotic robotics team from Garfield Palouse High School was at the Capitol. The team went to the 2016 FRC World Championship and rocked it! These are such great, smart kids. You can watch their video from the world championships here.
It's an honor to serve you!