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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The vehicle-miles-traveled tax is back, folks. It's been “re-branded” as the Road Usage Charge, or RUC. You can watch the House Transportation Committee work session on the RUC from yesterday, here. I continue to believe a road usage charge places an unfair tax on rural Washington and will fight against it. If you wish to contact members of the House Transportation Committee to let them know how you feel, you can do so here. The Senate also had a work session. Contact senators on the committee here.

My bills
House Bill 2450 attempts to give an incentive when trying to retain qualified and experienced emergency medical personnel in rural or underserved areas.  It would allow for a free hunting and fishing license for emergency medical professionals with at least five years' continual service. This bill had a public hearing and is now scheduled for executive session on Jan. 28 in the House Committee on Rural Development, Agriculture and Natural Resources.

House Bill 2755 seeks to bring transparency to the cost of air ambulance services.  Living in rural areas can mean utilizing air ambulance services.  While prepaid or monthly plans are available for these services, there seems to be some questions about charges and billing. A critical service like this, where no other viable options exist to serve emergency situations, demands a high level of transparency. This bill is scheduled for a public hearing on Jan. 28 in the House Committee on Health Care and Wellness.

House Bill 2447 has to do with the legal definitions of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) in state law and rulemaking processes.  There has been a continual flow of new and innovative types of alternative off-road vehicles of a variety of shapes and sizes that are slightly different than previous iterations.  This bill increases flexibility so that new models can be registered under the existing statutes. This bill is scheduled for a public hearing on Jan. 29 in the House Transportation Committee.

While the above bills may not all appeal to you or make a huge difference in your life, they were specifically requested by someone in the 9th Legislative District.

My L&I bill is scheduled to receive a public hearing on Monday, Jan. 27 in the House Labor Committee. You can read a news article on my bill here, and a nice opinion piece from the Lewiston Tribune here.

You can read another article by the Lewiston Tribune on my bill to help first responders identify people with developmental disabilities here.

To learn more about our efforts to make living in your home more safe and more affordable, while holding state government more accountable, click here. It's part of our “It's Your Home. Expect More.” theme. I also encourage you to bookmark The Ledger to keep up to speed on what's happening in Olympia. It contains stories about the Legislature from around the state, including opinion pieces, video and audio.

Thank you for reading my email update and thank you for staying involved. Please know that it is an honor 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