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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The Washington State House of Representatives is holding floor sessions all day (and most nights) and through the weekend during the eighth week of the legislative session. That's because next Wednesday, March 8, is the last day to pass bills in the chamber (House or Senate) where they were introduced. Bills that don't pass by this deadline are considered “dead” for the year.
To view important deadlines for the 2023 session, click here.
Holding criminals accountable
Late Tuesday night on the House floor, I urged the body to vote no on House Bill 1169. This bill would eliminate the crime victim penalty assessment, which is a fee imposed on adults who are convicted of a criminal offense in superior court. These fees are used to support victims' rights programs. If enacted, this bill would shift the cost of these crimes from criminals to taxpayers.
I firmly believe that we, as a society, must hold criminals accountable for their actions. Otherwise, we will only encourage more anti-social behavior. My fear is that if crime gets bad enough, people will start taking matters into their own hands. We must do everything in our power to ensure government protects the lives and property of law-abiding citizens.
Unfortunately, despite my efforts, HB 1169 passed the House by a vote of 56-41 and is heading to the Senate for further consideration.
Friends in the gallery
My longtime friend, spiritual mentor, and now constituent, Pastor Gary Hebden from The Intersection Open Bible Church in Spokane Valley, delivered the opening prayer for the House on Monday, Feb. 27.
It was a treat to have both Pastor Gary and my beautiful wife, Rima, in the gallery when my first piece of legislation – House Bill 1330 – unanimously passed the House.
Update on bills I am sponsoring
Out of the four bills I prime sponsored, three are still alive:
- House Bill 1660 would set a minimum bid for abandoned recreational vehicles sold at auction and keeping them from returning to our streets.
- This bill was placed on second reading by the House Rules Committee and could come up for a vote any day.
- House Bill 1330 this is a bipartisan bill that would adjust the threshold for requiring candidate contribution certifications relating to foreign nationals and encourage more exceptional candidates to run for office.
- This bill unanimously passed the House on Feb. 27 and is now in the Senate where it was referred to the Senate State Government and Elections Committee.
- House Bill 1761 would increase the personal property tax exemption helping small business and streamlining assessor's offices across the state.
- This bill was referred to the House Rules Committee for review on Feb. 24.
Town hall meeting
You're invited to join me and Rep. Suzanne Schmidt for an upcoming town hall meeting at CenterPlace Event Center (2426 N. Discovery Place Spokane Valley) on March 18 at 10 a.m.
This is a great opportunity to discuss the issues we've been working hard on, the important debates happening in the Legislature, as well as other important issues facing our region and state.
We look forward to seeing you there!
How you can get involved
- My legislative website | Find my contact information, bio, news releases, email updates, videos, opinion pieces, bills, and other information.
- The Capitol Buzz | A weekday roundup of online news stories.
- The Current | An online legislative publication from the Washington House Republicans.
- TVW | TVW broadcasts floor and committee action live online.
- The Ledger | A legislative news aggregator.
- Legislature's website | Bill reports, committee agendas, and information about upcoming activities in the Legislature here.
- State agencies | Lists of all state agencies, boards, and commissions here.
- Participating in the Process | Information about how you can participate in the legislative process
Please contact me if you have any questions, concerns, or comments. I encourage you to provide feedback and get involved. I am here to serve you and everyone in the 4th Legislative District.
I will do my best to answer messages from constituents first, so please be sure to include your home address and phone number in your correspondence.
It's an honor to serve you.
122C Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7984 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000