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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

We're now starting to make the transition from work sessions to actual public hearings on bills in committee.  It's always good to see average citizens testify in committee as opposed to the usual state agency or special interest crowd.

I had two of my bills receive public hearings this week.  The first one, House Joint Memorial 4001, requests that Congress allow states to adopt year-round daylight savings time.  There are studies that show how much the human body needs sunlight for optimum mental and physical health.  I've heard from constituents who are very supportive of this effort.

My second bill, House Bill 1104, creates the crime of interference with agricultural production and has garnished quite a bit of attention.  This bill seeks to extend private property protections – similar to what you and I would expect at home – to farmers.  Currently, there are very little protections for farmers – even those that are doing everything right – from those who would seek to harm farmers by entering their property by theft, force, threat, misrepresentation or trespass.  Unfortunately, most farmers are scared of repercussions and were unwilling or unable to testify in support of my bill.  At the very least, I hope I've started the conversation about the lack of protections farmers have, and how we can begin addressing this situation.

We continue to work hard every day to find common ground and write our next two-year operating budget.  Meetings and discussions are ongoing and I'm confident we can finish within the 105 days required by law.

Thanks again for reading my e-newsletter.  I'm working to make the best decisions on your behalf in Olympia and would appreciate hearing your thoughts and concerns.  Don't forget to participate in my upcoming telephone town hall on Wednesday, Feb. 4 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  To join in, just call (509) 590-4692.  If you have a question for me during the “community conversation,” just press the star (*) key on your telephone keypad.


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