Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We have finished up Week 7, and are now in Week 8 of the legislative session. We have reached the first two significant dates of the 2023 Legislature. Friday, Feb. 17, was the “policy committee cutoff.” That means all policy bills must have passed their respective committees in the chamber where they were introduced by Feb. 17, or they are considered “dead” for the session. “Bills necessary to implement the budget” (NTIB) are exempt from the deadline.
Last Friday, (Feb. 24), was the “fiscal committee cutoff.” Same rule applies to the bills in the fiscal committees. However, as I mentioned, some bills are deemed NTIB and are exempt from the cutoff.
We have spent long hours and days in the fiscal committees voting on bills. This week we will have a long stretch of days and nights debating and voting on bills on the House floor.
Grant writers for distressed counties
I prime-sponsored two pieces of legislation this session. House Bill 1783 would assist distressed areas through the hiring of grant writers. The Department of Commerce (DOC) would be required to establish a grant program to support associate development organizations (ADO) in the recruiting, hiring, and retention of full-time grant writers. The ADOs are local organizations designated by each county to serve as the department’s primary partner in local economic development activities in their county.
Skilled grant writers are important to counties or regions in need of economic development assistance. They are in high demand and not easy to find. House Bill 1783 would allow counties to work with the DOC to ensure they can recruit and retain a full-time grant writer.
The bill was unanimously voted out of the Innovation, Community and Economic Development, and Veterans Committee on Feb. 15. To watch me briefly discuss the bill, and provide a little comic relief, before its unanimous passage out of the House Appropriations Committee click on the video below.
House Bill 1783 now awaits a vote by the full House of Representatives.
My other bill, House Bill 1787, would have directed the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to establish a truck parking plan, as well as create and implement a program to help develop commercial parking facilities. It would have also required counties and cities to plan for truck parking and allow such parking in industrial and commercial areas.
This is a major public safety issue along the I-5 corridor, over our mountain passes, and highways across the state. Washington is one of the worst state’s in the country when it comes to providing necessary parking for commercial truck drivers. There is only one parking space provided for every 11 commercial trucks on the road Washington state. We need to do better by our truck drivers.
While the bill did not make it out of the Local Government Committee, I will work with the state and local government organizations during the interim to find some common ground and a solution to this important issue.
To watch my introduction of HB 1787 in committee click on the video below.
I have also signed on as a sponsor to several other bills that survived the cutoff dates and are moving through the legislative process.
- House Bill 1363 would restore the reasonable suspicion standard for initiating vehicular pursuits. This is a critical piece of legislation for our law enforcement. It has been amended substantially, but we continue to work on it.
- House Bill 1019 would create the Pesticide Advisory Board. The board that advised the Washington State Department of Agriculture on pesticide-related actions was eliminated in 2010.
- House Bill 1573 would extend tax preferences for dairy, fruit and vegetable, and seafood processors.
- House Bill 1013 would establish regional apprenticeship programs.
- House Bill 1044 would provide capital financial assistance to small school districts with demonstrated funding challenges.
Good and bad bill list
For further information on good and bad bills click, here. This is legislation our caucus is tracking this session that we believe to be good pieces of legislation or concerning bills. Keep in mind, this list is as the bills are introduced. Obviously, they are all subject to change as they make their way through the legislative process.
We have an excellent website explaining an effective way to communicate with your legislators and share your voice and concerns. Click here to learn more.
You can also utilize these great websites:
- The Ledger | A legislative news aggregator.
- Capitol Buzz – Daily news clips | Daily news clips.
- The Current | An online legislative publication from the Washington House Republicans.
Please do hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, comments or concerns about the legislative session or our state government.
It is an honor to serve the great 15th District!