Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We are entering the final stretch of this short 60-day session. This week, we will be spending long days and nights on the House floor voting on different bills and I'm looking forward to seeing what legislation will go into law this year. We are currently focusing our efforts on approving the supplemental operating, transportation and capital budgets. I will keep you posted on the final decisions that are made. Stay tuned.
I have great news! House Bill 2807 has passed both the House and Senate! Next steps – signature by Governor Inslee and adoption into state law! This bill would require the Washington State Department of Transportation to designate certain portions of State Routes 128 and 193 – 4.5 miles of Wawawai Road from the Port of Lewiston through to the Port of Whitman at Wilma, on the north side of the Snake River – as a heavy-haul corridor for the movement of overweight vehicles not exceeding 129,000 pounds. This harmonizes the weight limits on a road that serves both ports. I will keep you posted as this bill moves into the final stages! Stay tuned!
Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting so many wonderful people for all across the district and state. I loved having the opportunity to visit with the Franklin County Rodeo Fair Queen, Rebekah Schuh, pictured right. Our fairs and rodeos bring true community spirit to our district and I'm looking forward to visiting all the fairs during the interim. Rebekah is a very bright young woman and I'm excited to see her again at the Benton Franklin Fair later this year.
I also had the pleasure of meeting Ray Conner, Vice Chairman of Boeing, pictured left. We had the opportunity to discuss how he become an executive at Boeing. He started as a worker on the production floor and rose to leadership. He is a great American success story, like so many of our CEO's and executives in our nation's corporations. He confirms that our industries offer limitless possibilities for those who have the passion to pursue their talents and visions.
And the results are in!
I wanted to take the opportunity to thank everyone in the 9th District who participated in our recent telephone town hall. We had good participation and great conversation as we discussed the issues that face our district and state. I would like to share with you the results of the poll questions that were asked during the call. Thank you for your valuable input.
- Would you support amending the state constitution to require a supermajority, or two-thirds, vote to approve tax increases?
- 80% said yes you would support a state constitutional amendment
- 20% said no you would not support a state constitutional amendment
- The state Supreme Court overturned the will of voters by voiding the state public charter school system. Should the Legislature pass a bill to ensure charter schools can continue to operate?
- 64% said yes a bill should be passed to ensure charter schools remain open
- 24% said no a bill should not be passed in favor of charter schools
- 12% said you need more information to make a decision
- The state Human Rights Commission recently ruled that transgender people could use the bathroom or locker room of the sex they “identify” with. What should the Legislature do?
- 70% said we should do everything we can to repeal the law
- 21% said we should work with the commission to address the concerns and arrive at a compromise
- 9% said that we should do nothing as you agree with the commission's ruling
If you were unable to participate in the call, but have input on the poll questions or other issues you would like to discuss with me, please feel free to contact my office. These telephone town halls are always a fantastic way to connect with citizens in our district during session and I'm really looking forward to visiting with more of you during the interim.
Our Conservation Districts
It was recently Agriculture Day at the Capitol which gave us the wonderful opportunity to meet with different people in the Ag Industry including our Conservation Districts. I had the opportunity to sit down with folks from Spokane Conservation District, Palouse Rock Lake Conservation District and Grant County Conservation District to discuss the projects they are working on in eastern Washington. It was also my pleasure to have the opportunity to meet with Roylene, our State Conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Roylene partnered with our Conservation districts to discuss their farm innovation projects. The great cooperation between the state and NRCS truly helps our local farms and helps us to implement innovative conservation incentive programs. I look forward to continuing my work with Roylene and our local conservations districts. I also cover our conservation districts in my current video legislative update.
We are proud of our Page Program
Our Page program is one of only two programs left in the United States. Washington state is proud to still offer this program to teach our high school kids about the legislative process. I was honored to have my daughter, Krista, selected as a Page. She proudly represented the 9th District, was able to have a hands-on learning experience, and see what I go through every day as your state representative. Krista enjoyed carrying the American flag in during one of our floor sessions and creating her own bill with her fellow pages. If you know of anyone between the ages of 14-17, encourage them to keep an eye out for future opportunities to serve as a Page next legislative session.
As always, I thank you for taking the time to read my email update. I encourage you to get in touch with me with any comments, questions or concerns. Please feel free to share my email updates with your family, friends and neighbors, and encourage them to subscribe. I also recommend that you follow my Sound Cloud page to listen to my audio updates from Olympia.
If you would like to come and visit me in Olympia, please contact my Legislative Assistant, Shelby, and she would be happy to schedule a time with you. It is always great to see the people of our district in Olympia and I encourage you to come and visit me.
It's an honor to serve you!