Saturday, April 13, 2024

Legislative sessions updates

Posted

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The legislative session is more than halfway complete. Last week was the “house of origin” cutoff. That means bills that have not passed out of the chamber where they originated are dead for the session, unless some extraordinary steps are taken or they are deemed necessary to implement the budget (NTIB). In the House, we are now holding public hearings on the Senate bills sent to us. We have until March 29, to vote them out of the policy committees and April 4 to take action on bills in the fiscal committees. The last five weeks of session will go very quickly. If you have any questions, concerns, or comments about issues before us this session, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Virtual Town Hall

With so much to talk about after the long days and nights of House floor action, my seatmate Rep. Mike Steele, R-Chelan, and I want to give you the opportunity to discuss any of the legislative or state issues before us this session.

Successes in stopping bad legislation

Being in the minority, much of our work consists of amending bad legislation or stopping bills from passing. We have had some successes this session. Bills that are dead for the session include:

  • House Bill 1025 would have allowed police officers to be sued personally.
  • House Bill 1513 would have prevented law enforcement from pulling people over for minor violations;
  • House Bill 1333 would have created a controversial Domestic Violent Extremism Commission; and
  • House Bill 1670 would have allowed cities and counties to triple the 1% annual revenue growth on property taxes.

Vehicle pursuit legislation update

One of the most important issues we had hoped to address this legislative session is providing law enforcement with the ability to pursue criminals We need to allow police to do their job of protecting our communities and families.

Last week, I joined with my House Republican colleagues in attempting a parliamentary maneuver that would have pulled the bipartisan House Bill 1363 to the floor for a vote. Our efforts were voted down on a party-line vote.

While the Senate did pass their version of the pursuit bill, it is watered down and much weaker than the original bill. However, it does keep the issue alive and potentially provide us with another opportunity to amend it as it works its way through the legislative process.

Prioritizing criminals over victims

We have seen legislation this session that prioritizes criminals over victims, while passing bills that would make it more difficult for citizens to exercise their constitutional rights.

  • House Bill 1268, which would reduce penalties for gang, drug, and firearm crimes committed in protected zones, like schools and bus stops.
  • House Bill 1324, which would reduce sentences for juvenile criminal re-offenders; and
  • House Bill 1169, which would shift the cost of crime from criminals to law-abiding citizens.

We need to hold criminals accountable for their actions, not go easier on crime. While the majority party is pushing these bills, they are also moving legislation that may not be constitutional and punishes law-abiding citizens.

  • House Bill 1240 would ban the sale, production or transfer most semi-auto firearms aka “assault weapons”. It contains an emergency clause that goes into effect immediately after the governor signs it. HB 1240 does not require confiscation of currently This legislation goes against the recent U.S. Supreme Court Bruen decision and the upcoming federal district court ruling on the California “assault weapons ban,” which most believe will be overturned. This ban will have a greater impact on law-abiding citizens than the individuals who commit crimes.
  • House Bill 1143 would impair your right to buy, sell or keep arms. The measure would impose various training and testing requirements on law-abiding gun owners and retailers before they can exercise their constitutional rights.

Our state must prioritize victims over criminals and allow law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and their families from the rise in violent crime. Washington state has the fewest law enforcement officers per capita, and we desperately need to recruit and train more law enforcement officers to protect our communities.   

Follow the Legislature

A reminder, below are some websites and links that will help you stay engaged in this legislative session.

My legislative website | Here you can find contact information, bio, news releases, email updates, videos, radio appearances, and much more.

The Ledger | A legislative news aggregator.

Capitol Buzz – Daily news clips | Daily news clips.

The Current | An online legislative publication from the Washington House Republicans.

  • TVW | The state's own version of C-SPAN, TVW broadcasts floor and committee action live online.
  • Legislature's website | Bill reports, committee agendas, and information about upcoming activities in the Legislature. It is an honor to represent the 12th Legislative District!

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