Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We’re back on the Senate floor this week after passing another set of cutoff deadlines for bills. That means a lot of bills are either taking the final steps to becoming law or getting “killed” for this legislative session. To read more about what this means for my bills, check out the update below.
As we near the end of the legislative session, more and more of our work will come down to passing a budget that can make it through an evenly divided Legislature. Keep an eye out for more news on the state budget and let me know if you have any questions as the debate moves forward.
BILL UPDATE: What’s Alive and What’s Dead
We recently passed the cutoff date for bills to be passed out of committee in the opposite chamber from which they originated. That means my bills that passed the Senate needed to pass their respective House committees if they are going to stay alive and keep moving forward. If they aren’t necessary to implement the budget and they didn’t pass before the cutoff, then the bills are considered “dead.”
Technically any bill can be revived until the final gavel falls, but if it’s going to be signed into law this year, this last cutoff date is a pretty good indication of what’s still alive.
SB 5185 – Emergency Response Volunteers – Headed to governor’s desk for final signature
SB 5230 – Small Business Bill of Rights
SB 5285 – Agriculture and Natural Resources Workforce Study
SB 5338 – ORV Registration Enforcement – Headed to governor’s desk for final signature
SB 5405 – National Guard Protection – Not passed before cutoff but still part of budget debate
SB 5525 – Mental Health for Heroes – Not passed before cutoff but still part of budget debate
SB 5665 – Updating Business Credit Card/Alcohol Purchase Rules
SB 5778 – Veterans/Resident Student Definition
Still Hanging On: Hirst Fix Bill
In the recent Hirst decision by the Supreme Court, they once again legislated from the bench, determining that the states’ Growth Management Act severely restricts the use of wells; specifically those that had been designated as “exempt” before. For countless families in this state, Hirst has turned property rights on its head. This especially hurts those who have purchased property in the hopes of building their dream homes. This decision, in most cases, removes their ability to have any water at all on their property if they depended on a well. Not only does this end their ability to build, but dramatically reduces the value of their property, rendering it basically unbuildable.
The Senate responded by passing a bill (Senate Bill 5239) to fix the misguided Court decision and allow people to use the property which they are counting on for their homes and future. The House refused to pass this bill before the cutoff date.
While this would spell the end for most bills, we in the Senate are adamant that a fix needs to be passed now, so we are continuing to put pressure on the House to do their job and restore the property rights that were decimated by this Court decision. We’re not letting this bill die.
For more information on the Hirst decision, check out this website: FixHirst.com
Thank You for Participating! Successful Telephone Town Hall
Hundreds of you took the time to connect with me and my 17th District seatmates last week in our telephone town hall. We very much appreciated all the good questions and especially your feedback on our poll questions.
In case you missed it, here’s a great write-up from The Reflector about our town hall:
17th District lawmakers talk proposed legislation with constituents
My Senate Page for the Week: Marcus Guntle
Marcus Guntle came to the Capitol from Vancouver as a freshman at Jesuit High School. He is the son of Angelique Davis and spends his free time playing basketball and running track. Being a Senate page is a unique opportunity to experience government up close and I’m very glad Marcus could come to Olympia and enjoy the experience!
Investing in the 17th District: Senate Capital Budget
The state’s capital budget is our way of investing in brick-and-mortar projects of statewide importance. Last week, the Senate passed our capital budget proposal which includes some very important projects in the 17th Legislative District which are listed below. Once the House passes their capital budget proposal, we can begin negotiating to make sure we include these projects in the final budget:
- WSU Vancouver – Life Sciences building pre-construction design
- Daybreak Youth Center for Adolescent Recovery
- Cascadia Tech Academy (Clark County Skills Center) building modernization
- Energy-efficient street lighting replacement