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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

This week was filled with long sessions where legislators debated on amendments and legislation on the House floor.  We usually caucus as a group on 20 to 30 bills, discussing proposed amendments, the pros and cons of each bill, and create a game plan for each bill.

A bill might take as little as five minutes to pass if there is little controversy or as long as five hours if there are multiple amendments and much controversy.  It's always interesting to see this final stage of the House legislative process play out.  Bills that pass the House are sent over to the Senate where the process starts all over.

Treating marijuana as an agriculture product?
There is an increasing effort in Olympia to treat marijuana as an agriculture product.  Our state is one of the most diverse agriculture states in the nation, second only to California.  It's a huge economic driver for the entire state and as such, we have laws in place to protect and promote our agriculture products.  However, while marijuana is legal in our state for medical and recreational use due to the passage of statewide initiatives, it's still a banned substance at the federal level.  I'm not yet comfortable with allowing marijuana to fall into the same agriculture protections as our crops and produce.  I'm going to vote against legislation of this kind, but what do you think?  Shoot me an e-mail and let me know your thoughts on this issue.

All-terrain vehicles, county roads and highways
One of my bills, House Bill 1838, passed the House this week.  This is a simple bill but important for small rural communities who rely on 4-wheelers and certain ATVs for both farming and agriculture activities as well as tourism activities.  It allows these vehicles to legally cross certain sections of road – highways 60 mph and under – that they previously were not allowed to (although many did).  It's isn't a free-for-all by any means.  We're not going to see ATVs driving down the highway.  This just allows local jurisdictions to designate certain crossings for these vehicles.  The bill passed unanimously in the House and is now in the Senate Transportation Committee.

Colfax student serves as legislative page
I had the pleasure of hosting Hannah Buri this week as a House page.  Hannah is the daughter of Angela Buri from Colfax and attends Colfax Junior-Senior High School.  She is also the niece of former 9th District State Representative David Buri.  Hannah did a great job representing her family and community in the state Legislature while delivering mail, attending page school and running other errands around the Capitol Campus.  Thank you, Hannah!

If you or someone you know would like more information about how to become a House page, click here.

Thank you for reading my e-newsletter and for staying involved in your state government.


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