Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The 2016 session has begun. This short session is scheduled for 60 days and I see no reason we can't finish on time and be home by the middle of March. As in year's past, I'll send out weekly updates on issues and activities that I think you might be interested in. My e-newsletter will contain video links, audio links, links to online stories, information about my bills, and much more. If you'd like to see me address something specific, feel free to shoot me an e-mail and I'll do my best to keep you up-to-date.
Opening ceremonies included the administration of oaths to several new state representatives and remarks by Speaker of the House Frank Chopp. To see our leader, Rep. Dan Kristiansen, give his opening remarks for our vision for this session, click here. The governor gave his state of the state address on Tuesday. Sen. Jan Angel provided the Republican response. There was also a media event with the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus. You can watch these events live each week through Periscope by following the House Republican Caucus on Twitter. You can also watch the recent AP Legislative Preview and Seattle City Club events where legislators discuss the issues we'll be dealing with this session.
This year's budget should truly be a supplemental budget where we only make very minor changes to the two-year spending plan we passed last. However, we're already seeing tax increase proposals to tax things like bottled water. To see the governor's 2016 supplemental budget proposal, click here. With this summer's wildfires, it may be necessary to tap into the state's Rainy Day Fund, similar to how we did last year to pay for the Oso Landslide and the Carlton Complex Fire. This fund is for unforeseen emergencies, not daily expenses.
In my opinion, the state Supreme Court overstepped their bounds with last year's ruling against the voter-approved public charter school system. Fortunately, there is bipartisan support in the Legislature to arrive at a solution. To watch a quick video on the charter school issue along with our solution, click here to watch the ranking Republican on the House Education Committee, Rep. Chad Magendanz.
I was on the Michael Howe Radio show this week. Michael's show airs out on the Olympia Peninsula. We talked about health care and other issues. If you'd like to listen to that interview, click here. I invite you to stay connected to the Legislature throughout the session. Here are a few ways you can stay up-to-date:
- Capitol Buzz – A daily electronic clip service of House Republicans. Click here to subscribe.
- The Current – An online publication from House Republicans to include you in the legislative process. Click here to subscribe.
- Capitol Report – A three-minute weekly radio program (aired on KZBG in Clarkston and KHTR/KQQQ in Pullman) that discusses current issues of the 9th District and the state. Click here to sign up for my RSS podcast. You can also get all of the Washington House Republican Capitol Report programs on your iPhone and iPad through the iTunes store by clicking here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/capitol-report-washington/id579017734.
- Check out my Web site – www.representativejoeschmick.com. From this link, you can get more information about me, the bills I've sponsored and view my news releases.
- Photos – Access my photo gallery here.
- TVW – The state's own version of C-Span, TVW broadcasts floor and committee action live. You can also watch on your computer, smartphone or tablet: www.tvw.org
- Legislature's Web site – You can get bill reports, committee agendas and information about upcoming activities in the Legislature at: www.leg.wa.gov
Please share this e-newsletter with everyone you know and encourage them to sign up for it from my Web site at: www.representativejoeschmick.com. It is an honor to serve you in Olympia. And……….. GO HAWKS!!!!