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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Rep. Joe Schmick with Page Chris Koenig from ColfaxThis week we celebrated Kids' Day and Martin Luther King Day at the state Capitol, as well as the annual March for Life event at the Capitol steps. I also had the pleasure of hosting my first Legislative Page of the session, Chris Koenig from Colfax.  Chris is a neighbor of mine and did a fine job representing his school, his family and our town.  For more information on the Legislative Page Program, including how your son or daughter can participate in this learning experience, click here.

Health Care

Recently, President Obama and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius have responded to reports that millions of Americans have been kicked off their coverage due to Obamacare. To mitigate the cancellations, both have announced policies that allow people to either keep their existing health care plans or be exempted from the individual mandate tax penalty and buy typically cheaper catastrophic care plans. Washington state's Democratic insurance commissioner has not been supportive of allowing individuals to keep their pre-Obamacare plans.  To read my op-ed that was published in The Spokesman-Review on this issue, titled: “Washington's insurance commissioner has some explaining to do,” click here.

Stethoscope around doctorsI joined a few of my House Republican colleagues in introducing legislation on the first day of the legislative session designed to help people who have lost their insurance keep some form of affordable health care.  For more information on this effort, click here.

I continue to believe you should be in charge of your health insurance and health care decisions. My focus remains on consumer-driven health insurance plans that provide access to affordable health care. Increasing the role of government in the patient/doctor relationship is not the direction I believe is best for patients or their doctors.  For more information on our House Republican solutions for health care, click here.

The Week Ahead

Here's a quick look at some of the things we'll be dealing with in committee next week as well as some photos from this week:

MONDAY, JANUARY 272014 March for Life Banner

Educational Outcomes for Homeless Students – Public Hearing on HB 2373 – Education, HHR A @ 1:30PM

Expanding Extended Foster Care – Public Hearing on HB 2335 – Early Learning & Human Services, HHR C @ 1:30PM

Governor's Health Care Purchasing & Delivery Bill – Public Hearing on HB 2572 – Health Care & Wellness, HHR B @ 1:30PM

Governor's Mental Health & Chemical Dependency Bill– Public Hearing on HB 2639 –Health Care & Wellness, HHR B @ 1:30PM

Liquor License Issuance Fees – Public Hearing on HB 2412 & 2490 – Government Accountability & Oversight, HHR E @ 1:30PM

Law Enforcement & Firefighters Pension Restrictions Public Hearing on HB 2479 – Appropriations, HHR A @ 3:30PM

Survivor Benefits from PERS to Domestic Partners Public Hearing on HB 2485 – Appropriations, HHR A @ 3:30PM

Traffic Safety Cameras for School Zones Public Hearing on HB 2404 – Transportation, HHR B @ 3:30PM



Dept. of Corrections Prison Capacity Options – Work Session – Capital Budget, HHR B @ 8:00AM

Authority for Emergency Medical Services Levies – Public Hearing on HB 2428 – Finance, HHR A @ 8:00AM

Extending the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Sales Tax Exemption Public Hearing on HB 2418 – Finance, HHR A @ 8:00AMTown Crier

Economic Success Metrics for Higher Education – Public Hearing on HB 2443 – Higher Education, HHR A @ 10:00AM

Inmate Postsecondary Degree Programs – Public Hearing on HB 2443 – Higher Education, HHR A @ 10:00AM

Concerning Indecent Liberties by a Clergy Member – Public Hearing on HB 2341 – Public Safety, HHR D @10:00AM

Modifying Drug Offender Sentencing Alternatives – Public Hearing on HB 2484 – Public Safety, HHR D @10:00AM

Public Recreational Access – Public Hearing on HB 2273 – Environment, HHR C @ 10:00 AM

Derelict Vessels Public Hearing on HB 2457 – Agriculture & Natural Resources, HHR C @ 1:30PM

Protect Our Gun Rights Initiative – Public Hearing on HI 591 – Judiciary, HHR A @1:30PM

Gun Sales Background Check Initiative – Public Hearing on HI 594 – Judiciary, HHR A @1:30PM

Prevailing Wage Bills – Public Hearing on HB 2209, 2210, 2299 & 2527 – Labor & Workforce Development, HHR D @ 1:30PM

Creating the “Start Retirement Savings Plan” Public Hearing on HB 2474 – Appropriations, HHR A @ 3:30PM



Governor's Council – Healthiest Next Generation – Public Hearing on HB 2643 – Health Care & Wellness, HHR B @ 8:00AM

Photos on Electronic Benefit (EBT) Cards – Public Hearing on HB 2505 – Early Learning & Human Services, HHR C @ 8:00AM

Requiring an Audit of State Universities – Public Hearing on HB 2308 – Higher Education, HHR A @ 1:30PM

Multiple Offense & Enhancement Sentences – Public Hearing on HB 1862 – Public Safety, HHR D @1:30PMBlitz vs. the gov

Electronic monitoring of Offenders Public Hearing on HB 2543 – Public Safety, HHR D @1:30PM

Restricting Access to Juvenile Offender Records Public Hearing on HB 1651 – APPG, HHR D @ 3:30PM

Waiving Discover Pass Display Penalties Public Hearing on HB 2156 – APPG, HHR D @ 3:30PM

Authorizing Motorcycle Road Guards Public Hearing on HB 2494 – Transportation, HHR B @ 3:30PM



Contractor Registration Exemption for Minor Work – Public Hearing on HB 2113 – LWD, HHR D @ 8:00AM

Local Jurisdiction Marijuana Fund – Public Hearing on HB 2144 – Government Accountability & Oversight, HHR E @ 10:00AM

Prohibiting Local Gov't Bans on Marijuana Sites – Public Hearing on HB 2322 – GAO, HHR E @ 10:00AM

Allowing Physical Therapists to Perform Spinal Manipulation – Public Hearing HB 2160 – HCW, HHR B @ 10:00AM

Protecting the Public Works Assistance Account – Public Hearing on HJR 4215 – Capital Budget, HHR B @ 1:30PM

Restoring Capital Budget Fund Sweeps from 2013 – Public Hearing on HB 2244 – Capital Budget, HHR B @ 1:30PM

Property Tax Exemption for Small Business Incubators – Public Hearing on HB 2447 – Finance, HHR A @ 1:30PM

Grain & the Port of Longview Work Session – Transportation, HHR B @ 3:30PM



Permit Timeliness – Public Hearing on HB 2192 – Government Operations & Elections, HHR E @ 8:00AM

Public Funding for Supreme Court Campaigns – Public Hearing on HB 2525, Gov't Operations & Elections, HHR E @ 8:00AM12th Man flag rises

Climate Impact Group Public Hearing on HB 2654 – Environment, HHR C @ 8:00 AM

Prohibiting the Distribution of Intimate Images – Public Hearing on HB 2250 & 2257 – Public Safety, HHR D @10:00AM

Corrections Staff Safety Review – Public Hearing on HB 2421 – Public Safety, HHR D @10:00AM

Workers' Compensation Benefits if Under the Influence – Public Hearing on HB 2295 – LWD, HHR D @ 1:30PM


Join me for a telephone town hall in February!

I will be hosting a telephone town hall for all 9th District residents on Wednesday, Feb. 26 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Just call toll-free 1-800-761-6268 and you can participate with your neighbors in this “Community Conversation.” These events have been very successful in the past and help me keep in touch with you. You can ask me questions, take my survey or just listen in from the comfort of your own home. I hope you're able to join me.

As always, let me know if you have any questions or concerns about state government issues.  Thank you for allowing me to serve you in Olympia.


Joe Schmick

State Representative Joe Schmick, 9th Legislative District
426B Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
360-786-7844 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000