Dear Friends and Neighbors,
This week was the culmination of House floor action that saw many late nights that went into the early morning hours. While there were many disappointments as the majority party passed bills that will make life more expensive, our communities less safe, and add to our housing crisis, there were some successes as we killed several of the worst bills.
Bad bills that died
* Creating a controversial Domestic Violent Extremism Commission (House Bill 1333)
* Rent control (House Bill 1388)
* Allowing police officers to be sued for doing their job (House Bill 1025)
* Allowing cities and counties to triple their annual increases in property taxes (House Bill 1670)
Bad bills that passed
* Reducing criminal sentences by eliminating or modifying some sentencing enhancements (House Bill 1268)
* Eliminating criminals from having to pay a penalty to fund services for crime victims and their families, effectively shifting these costs to taxpayers and letting criminals off the financial hook (House Bill 1169)
* Creating new requirements for the purchase or transfer of a firearm, effectively a “purchase permit” (House Bill 1143)
* Creating a so-called assault weapon ban (House Bill 1240)
One of the most important issues of the legislative session is the ability for law enforcement to pursue criminals again. Legislation passed by Democrats in previous legislative sessions has resulted in a massive increase in auto thefts, property crime, and other violent crime. We need to allow police to do their job of protecting our communities and families. Last week, I joined with my House Republican colleagues in attempting a parliamentary maneuver that would have pulled the bipartisan House Bill 1363 to the floor for a vote (it was bottled up in committee). Our efforts were voted down by House Democrats. While the Senate did pass a bill addressing police pursuits, it is not even close to what we need. It is less than a half step in the right direction. You can read more about this issue in the media stories below.
- With Washington House bill broken down, Senate passes police pursuit reform | The Center Square
- Editorial: House Democrats disappoint on police pursuit bill | The Columbian
- Motion to force vote on Washington police pursuit bill fails in House | KING TV
9th LD telephone town hall
Just a reminder that Rep. Mary Dye and I will host a telephone town hall on Monday, March 13 from 6-7 p.m. An automated call will go out a few minutes before the event to landlines in the district. If you do not have a landline or you want to make sure you can participate, you can call (509) 841-0315 on March 13 from 5:45 p.m. all the through the program. There is much to discuss about the direction this state is heading. Your involvement and input are needed as we continue to work on your behalf to bring our collective priorities, principles, and values to the Legislature. I hope you can join us.