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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Time flies during a short 60-day legislative session, which is scheduled to be completed in 20 days on March 7. This past Tuesday was the house-of-origin cutoff, a major deadline in which bills must be passed out of the chamber where they originated, or they are considered “dead” for the year. In anticipation of that deadline, we worked all day and many evenings on the House floor, deliberating, debating and passing bills (and killing some bad ones), and even worked overnight into the early morning hours on a couple of occasions.

By Wednesday, when all was said and done, the House had passed 276 bills and sent them to the Senate. The Senate passed and sent us 262 bills. Needless to say, there were some tired lawmakers by mid-week, but I feel so honored to serve the great people of the 9th District and to stand up as your voice during these lengthy floor debates.

9th District Online Town Hall successful

I want to thank all of you who attended our 9th District Online Town Hall last night with me and Rep. Mary Dye. We received many great questions, including a discussion about the need for additional law enforcement, work on the state’s water quality, the six citizens’ initiatives, and much more. I always finish these events feeling much more informed, as I did last night. Your comments are helpful as we vote on legislation.

I enjoy visiting with folks from back home who have made the long trip to visit the Capitol and my office. Some visitors are wondering if their photo will make it into my weekly e-newsletter. This week’s winners are the early childhood educators from the 9th District. We posed for a photo in the House gallery overlooking the chamber floor. From top left, Chidobe Ugwa and Rebecca Lamoureux of the Pullman Community Child Care Center (CCCC), Alina Swart, Heidi Thornton and Valerie Hammack of Lewis-Clark Early Childhood Program of Clarkston, and Darcy Kennedy of the Pullman CCCC. On the bottom row, from left, I am sitting with Mary McDonald and Marwa Aly, both of the Pullman CCCC.

If you come to Olympia, please call my office and schedule an appointment. Maybe you’ll be in the next photo with me in my weekly e-newsletter!

Will the majority party hold public hearings on the citizen initiatives? Don’t hold your breath!

That’s the message of an article I submitted to our local papers this week. Six citizen initiatives have been certified and introduced to the Legislature. Our state’s constitution says they should hold precedence over other legislation. And yet, with only two-and-a-half weeks remaining in the session, despite Republicans asking for public hearings on these measures which were signed by hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians, the majority party still has not scheduled public hearings. It appears they may go to the ballot without any discussion in the Legislature. I invite you to read my article: Let Washingtonians be heard. Listen to my Capitol Report radio program on this topic.

Rep. Schmick speaks during a floor debate on Feb. 8.

House passes certificate of need review bill

One of the many bills that passed from the House floor on Monday was a measure I wrote to review the state’s certificate of need requirements. Under state regulations, certain healthcare providers and facilities must get state approval before building certain types of facilities or offering new or expanded services. This can be an expensive and arduous process, and is a potential barrier to needed health services in our rural communities. House Bill 2128 would create a task force to investigate modernizing the state’s certificate of need requirements. The task force would review the certificate of need program and make recommendations to the Legislature. The measure passed the House unanimously and the Senate Health and Long Term Care Committee is holding a public hearing on it today.

Stay in touch!

Your input is vital in these final days of the session. Please call, email or write my office with your questions, comments and suggestions.

Thank you again for allowing me the honor and privilege to serve you!

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