Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We've reached the first of our deadlines for bills. Last Friday was the final day for policy bills to clear their respective committees. Tuesday was the cut-off for bills in fiscal committees. Legislation that has not been passed by committees is considered “dead” for the year. However, bills necessary to implement the budget are exempt from the cut-off dates.
The House bills that have cleared their committees have been sent to the House Rules Committee. This is the committee that decides which bills will be brought to the floor for a vote. With the committee process behind us, the focus now shifts to the House floor where we will be voting on those bills sent to us by the Rules Committee. We're working late nights and into the weekend to consider those measures. We have until next Tuesday at 5 p.m. to pass bills from their house of origin. After that, House committees will begin considering bills sent to us by the Senate. This same process is also happening in the Senate.
As of today, only 27 days remain of the scheduled 60-day session. And, I hate to sound like a broken record, but we still haven't seen a budget proposal from the majority party – remember this when they decide they “don't have enough time” and drag us into another special session that costs taxpayer money.
Also, as I am sure you noticed in the news, the gay marriage bill passed the House and is on the way to the Governor's desk. I opposed this legislation. All along, it was said after the passage of gay marriage we would start working on a budget; now it seems our focus is going to move to medical marijuana.
And, a quick update on the pesticide drift bill, HB 2413 – it is sitting in the House Rules Committee at this time. Hopefully, we can keep it there.
This week, there were several groups visiting Olympia representing agriculture and ranching. The Washington State Farm Bureau held its annual Legislative Days in Olympia. We also saw the WA Association of Wheat Growers, the WA Cattlemen's Association, and the Cattle Producers of WA. It was great to see folks from home and those that work so hard on behalf of farmers and ranchers across the state. They do a great job of keeping their members informed of important events and legislation – and do a great job of keeping members informed as well. Thanks to everyone who stopped by for a visit!
Thanks for reading my e-newsletter. And thanks for the privilege of serving you in Olympia. Let me know if I can help you with anything.