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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Late nights, early mornings, discussions in caucus, long hours of debate on the House floor, not much sleep, and lots of voting. That’s the life of a legislator as we close in on the final days of the 2024 session that comes to an end on March 7. It’s a lot of work, but is it worth it? Absolutely!

The best part of being a legislator is having the ability to help the people of your district and across the state. That’s what keeps me coming back to Olympia — that and your input as we work together to make the 9th District a better place to live, work, and raise a family.

Rep. Joe Schmick, serving as ranking member of the House Health Care and Wellness Committee.

Are we accomplishing good things in Olympia? You bet!

The long floor debates indeed get the attention of the press. But what many people back home don’t hear is that most of the legislation passed from the House floor in Olympia is with bipartisan support. It’s very different in Olympia than back in Washington, D.C., which is what many people think of in discussions of government and politics.

At the state Capitol, we work together on many issues, Republicans and Democrats alike. And while we don’t always agree, the atmosphere here is still very cordial. Because of that, we can claim some great wins for the 2024 session.

Here are some examples:

  • Three of the six initiatives got public hearings. Those include Initiative 2111, which would prevent state, county, city, and other local governments from establishing and collecting an income tax; Initiative 2113, which would roll back restrictions on police pursuits of criminal suspects; And Initiative 2081, creating a Parents’ Bill of Rights. This morning, House and Senate committees voted to send these measures to the floors of their respective chambers. That’s a WIN! And if the Legislature votes to approve them, they become law. That’s a WIN! (Read more about the initiative process here | Learn more about all of the initiatives here.)
  • There are good things in the supplemental operating budget that I discussed in this newsletter last week: It boosts funding for special education, mental health, developmental disabilities, and nursing homes. And it doesn’t raise taxes. That’s a WIN!
  • I’m pleased that we voted to pass House Bill 2357, which would establish a temporary longevity bonus of $10,000 for State Patrol troopers with more than 26 years of service. And we’re increasing funding for trooper retention. They deserve it. And that’s a WIN.
  • We’re providing a new construction grant program for the modernization and improvements of small schools through House Bill 1044. That’s a WIN!
  • Under House Bill 1899, which I co-sponsored, we’re creating a disaster relief program to help people who lost their homes and property to wildfires. This will help those victims of last summer’s wildfires around Spokane. That’s a WIN for those folks.
  • We’re providing further protections for domestic violence (DV) survivors through House Bill 2048, which ensures supervision of DV repeat offenders to prevent them from further victimization.

These and other wins show that 2024 has been a successful session for the people of the state of Washington. I am so grateful to be a part of that for the folks in the 9th Legislative District.

Rep. Schmick with legislative page Becca Smith

Spokane Valley student serves as page in the state House

I wish to express my appreciation for Rebecca “Becca” Smith, who served this week as a page in the House.

Becca is from Spokane Valley. She’s a student at the STEM Academy at Spokane Valley Tech. The 14-year-old daughter of Patricia Jorges, Becca is active in the Debate Club and Roller Derby.

Each week during the session, pages between the ages of 14 and 16, take part in the legislative process and observe the Legislature and other branches of state government. They also help to deliver documents and provide assistance in the chamber during floor sessions, all while attending the Legislative Page School, where they learn civic education.

Becca is a talented individual and I enjoyed being her sponsor. You can learn more about the legislative page program here.

I work for you throughout the year

Although the 2024 session ends in just a few days, my service for you does not. I am honored to work as your legislator throughout the year. Please feel free to reach out to my office in Olympia any time you have questions, comments, or suggestions about legislation.

I’m looking forward to returning home and visiting with friends, neighbors and constituents across the 9th District. Who knows? Maybe I’ll see you in one of our many local parades.

Be well and stay in touch. Thank you for allowing me to serve and represent 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