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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The old adage “Time flies. . .” seems appropriate as we close out the third week and start the fourth week on Monday of the 60-day legislative session.

We are approaching our first major deadline next week. Wednesday, Jan. 31 at 5 p.m. is house-of-origin policy cutoff. This means any policy bills must be passed out of their policy committees in the chamber (House or Senate) where they were introduced, or they are likely “dead” for the session. Exceptions are bills necessary to implement the budget. These deadlines are important to keep the process advancing so we can finish the people’s business on time. You can view the session cutoff calendar here.

Speaking of calendars, please be sure to mark yours and sign up for a one-hour virtual Zoom 9th District town hall meeting on Thursday, Feb. 15, at 6:30 p.m. with me and Rep. Mary Dye. We want to hear from you and also provide an update of the 2024 session before the final weeks when we will be voting on critical bills. Please pre-register for our event at: http://tinyurl.com/09-LD-Schmick-Dye. We look forward to taking your questions.

You may remember last week in this newsletter, I told you about two citizens’ initiatives that were certified by the Secretary of State and presented to the Legislature: I-2113 would restore vehicular pursuit tools to law enforcement, and I-2117 would repeal the state’s regressive carbon tax. Since then, three more citizens’ initiatives have now been introduced into the legislative arena:

  • I-2081 would establish a parents’ bill of rights.
  • I-2109 would repeal the capital gains tax.
  • I-2111 would codify Washington’s prohibition of state and local personal income taxes.

The state constitution explicitly says initiative measures shall take precedence over all other measures in the Legislature, excluding appropriations bills. My House Republican colleagues have stood up for the people and asked the majority party to hold immediate public hearings on these measures, in accordance with the constitution. Unfortunately, five separate times, the majority party has said “no.” With hundreds of thousands of Washington citizens signing these initiatives, I believe citizens deserve to be heard in the committee process.

Former Pullman Mayor Glenn Johnson testifies in favor of Rep. Schmick’s House Bill 2307

I wish to thank former longtime Pullman Mayor Glenn Johnson and other city officials from around the 9th District who testified Wednesday in the House State Government and Tribal Relations Committee in favor of my House Bill 2307, which would limit vexatious public records claims. Some of these excessive and frivolous public records requests have cost our small governments hundreds of thousands of dollars, jeopardizing the ability to provide needed services. In many cases, the requesters were only out to profit at the expense of our small cities and taxpayers, and had no interest in the records they requested. Open and transparent government is vital to ensure the accountability of public servants to our citizens. My bill would preserve that, but also provides for legitimate requests to be processed and to cull out the vexatious requesters. For more information:

You can also see my other prime-sponsored bills here. Also, read more about our priorities to “Fix Washington.”

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. I appreciate your comments, questions and feedback. Again, be sure to sign up for our town hall meeting on Feb. 15.

Thank you for the honor of allowing me to serve you and our neighbors across the 9th District.

Sincerely,


Joe Schmick

State Representative Joe Schmick, 9th Legislative District
RepresentativeJoeSchmick.com
426B Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
joe.schmick@leg.wa.gov
(360) 786-7844 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000