Dear Friends and Neighbors,
With the Thanksgiving holiday only days away, I'd like to start this update by wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday. For many of us, the holiday season not only means a few precious days with our loved ones, but also a time to reflect on the good and bad from the previous year. As the effects of the pandemic begin to wind down, it's my sincere hope that the months ahead prove better than those behind us.
The upcoming 2022 session
Preparations for the short 60-day 2022 legislative session are underway. Last week, lawmakers from around the state met virtually for Committee Assembly Days. House and Senate committee members held more than 40 work sessions to plan and organize for the 2022 session. During those hearings, lawmakers and staff shared previews on bills and policy issues that we are likely to hear more about come January.
Prefiling of bills starts shortly after the Thanksgiving holiday on Dec. 6, 2021. Bills prepared before the regular session can be submitted at that time. This process helps committees organize their agendas prior to the first week of regular legislative work. Prefiled bills are then “officially” introduced on the first day of session.
If you would like to review any prefiled bills — after Dec. 6, you can do so by clicking here.
I'd like to take a moment to thank everyone from the 39th District that took the time to make comments and/or testify on the maps proposed by Washington State Redistricting Commission. As you may be aware, the commission failed to meet its state-mandated deadline of Nov. 15.
This is the first time the commission has failed to complete its work on time since being created shortly after the 1990 census. According to state law, the state Supreme Court now has until April 30 to do the job. The maps the court adopts will be used for elections from 2022 through 2031. In a recent statement, Commission Chair Sarah Augustine urged the court to consider the maps already developed by the commission:
“These maps reflect the input of the thousands of people who took part in the process with us. It would be a shame to see these maps go unconsidered simply because the clock struck 12.”
For more information on redistricting, and its potential impact on the 39th District, here are some news articles and links to information:
- In a first, court will decide new Washington redistricting plan as commission falters (Crosscut)
- Remorseful redistricting panel: Court should consider our maps (The Everett Herald)
- Washington's redistricting commission emerges Tuesday night, post-deadline, with agreement on boundaries. What's next? (Seattle Times)
Working for you!
The past several months have brought many unforeseen and difficult challenges. Along with vaccine mandates, masks in schools, and social contact restrictions, many constituents have contacted me because of their worries about some of the major policy changes approved during the 2021 session.
Some of their concerns include the new long-term care payroll tax, reforming the governor's emergency powers, the push to shut down the Snake River dams, new tax increases, and other changes that affect the cost of living for Washington residents, including significantly higher fuel costs. I've also received several calls, emails, and texts on the negative impact a group of police reform bills approved last year continues to have on law enforcement across the state.
In order to give you a behind-the-scenes look at some of the work being done on these topics, I'm including the following list of links below. As always, if you have any questions or comments on these or other state government-related matters, contact me. I'm always happy to hear from you.
Take a look:
- What's being done to reform the governor's emergency powers?
- Republican letters to Gov. Jay Inslee
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) information and resources
Public policy issues:
- Why police reform bills have made communities less safe
- New long-term care insurance program and payroll tax, including our efforts to repeal this tax and FAQs
- Regressive policies will create more pain at the pump for Washingtonians
- Why breaching our dams would do more harm than good | Salmon and hydroelectric power can co-exist
- New tax increases | 2019-21
Standing up for the public interest and ensuring state government works for the people takes effort. No elected official can do this work alone. Citizen participation is the key to success. If you are interested in learning how to be a citizen advocate, the links below can help you get started.
- Learn about the process online at the Legislative Overview page;
- Read about How a Bill Becomes a Law, and How to Read a Bill;
- Use the member rosters to get legislative contact information to send emails, or write letters;
- Call the toll-free Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 to leave a message on any issue;
- Make your views known by testifying before a committee on an issue or bill;
- Watch and listen to committee hearings live on TVW;
- Need more information on how the Legislature works? Call the Legislative Information Center at (360) 786-7573.
- Visit the Washington State House Republicans website;
- Sign up for The Capitol Buzz, a weekday summary of online news stories from across the state, highlighting policies, politics and other issues that affect Washingtonians; and/or
- Review top Republican headlines on The Ledger.
Because of certain state restrictions, I will not be sending another email update until the second week of January. In the meantime, if you have questions or concerns about state government-related matters, please contact my office.
I hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!
Thank you for allowing me to represent you in Olympia.