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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

We are currently spending more time in committee as we rapidly approach committee cutoff on Feb. 2.  Policy bills need to be approved by policy committees and moved along through the process either to the fiscal committees or straight to the Rules Committee where bills are then eligible to be brought to the House floor for a vote.

We had a good turnout this week for the March for Life where several thousand citizens from across the state marched and held rallies against abortion.  Some media estimates put the attendance at around 5,000.  Wherever you stand on this issue, it's always good to see citizens expressing their right to be involved in their state government.

This week we also celebrated National Guard Day.  It's important to remember the men and women deployed overseas and here at home in service to our state and country.  We had several National Guard officers visit us in caucus where they briefed us on the activities the guard participated in last year and ones they are currently engaged in.  It was quite impressive.  We have a very active and influential National Guard in our state!

My bills
This year, I'm introducing legislation to help make it easier to create and zone mobile home subdivisions for seniors.  We've got a “silver tsunami” coming – a wave of older, retirees that are going to need affordable housing.  Yet, parts of the Growth Management Act don't always fit our rural areas.  House Bill 2518 would allow local governments to permit these subdivisions for senior citizens outside of current urban growth boundaries.  This is a commonsense and affordable move to help meet the current and coming need for senior housing.  My bill received a public hearing in the House Environment Committee this week.  I'm hopeful it will receive support from the committee members and move on through the legislative process.  But even if it doesn't, I will continue to work on this issue and keep talking about the need for affordable housing for seniors.

I also have legislation (House Bill 2672) to help small businesses pay less in business and occupation taxes (B&O tax).  It would allow small businesses to keep more money in their pockets to reinvest in their businesses or hire more workers.  As the economy continues to improve, I'd like to see our smaller employers get a helping hand.  My bill received a hearing in the House Finance Committee this week.

Congressman Dan Newhouse visited the House Republican Caucus today. It was great to hear the many positive things happening in Congress and at the national level.  I was impressed with his energy and enthusiasm for what's actually happening, as opposed to the picture the media paints.  Congressman Newhouse is man of character and conviction; and we are extremely blessed to have him serving central Washington in D.C.!

Thank you for reading my e-mail update and for staying involved.  We'll be having a telephone town hall on Thursday, Feb. 22 at 6:00 p.m.  I'll send out more details when we have them.  But for now, I hope you're able to set aside a few minutes that evening to listen in and take part in the community discussion.


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