Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Thank you to all the folks who attended our 4th Legislative District town hall meeting on Saturday, March 18, at Center Place Event Center. Rep. Suzanne Schmidt and I enjoyed the opportunity to spend time back home and provide everyone with an update on the 2023 legislative session. We also received great feedback from constituents on the many important issues facing our region and state. For those who missed it, video of the event is available on the Spokane County Republican Facebook page.
Update on anti-gun bills
On Thursday, the Senate Law and Justice Committee held public hearings on two bills affecting the right to keep and bear arms:
- House Bill 1143 would impose training, permitting, and waiting period requirements on gun owners and firearm dealers with large fines and possible jail time.
- House Bill 1240 would outlaw the manufacture, importation, distribution, sale, or offer for sale of any so-called “assault weapon” with an emergency clause to go into effect once signed.
You can watch the full committee hearing on HB 1143 and HB 1240 on TVW by clicking here.
I voted no on both bills when they were debated in the House because I believe they violate Article I, Section 24 of the Washington State Constitution, and the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The other bill to keep an eye on is Senate Bill 5078, which would hold gun manufacturers legally responsible for how individuals misuse their products. SB 5078 is scheduled for executive session today in the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee at 10:30 a.m.
You can watch the committee hearing on SB 5078 on TVW by clicking here.
If you want to get involved on any of these bills, the Legislature has a guide here: leg.wa.gov/legislature/Pages/Participating.aspx
House Republicans also put together a guide to participating in the legislative process here: houserepublicans.wa.gov/how-to-participate
On Monday, the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC) adopted the March revenue forecast. The state’s revenue forecast is up in the short term but down in the long term. Compared to the November forecast, revenue increased by $194 million for the current 2021-23 biennium, but decreased by $483 million for 2023-25 (the upcoming budget period) and decreased by $541 million for 2025-27 (the biennium covered by the four-year outlook).
State revenues are now expected to be $64.1 billion in 2021-23, which is a 20.7% increase over 2019-21.
You can watch the full March 20 ERFC meeting by clicking here.
Next week, the House Capital Budget Committee, where I serve as a member, will unveil the capital budget.
The capital budget approves money for the construction and repair of public buildings and other long-term investments, such as land acquisitions and transfers. It also considers grants and loans to local governments or nonprofit organizations for infrastructure, broadband, housing, and cultural and heritage facilities.
Rep. Schmidt and I are working hard behind the scenes to make important investments around the Spokane Valley. Stay tuned next week for more information.
I had the great of privilege of sponsoring Beka Mamuldze, who served as a page this week in the House.
Beka is an exchange student from Georgia attending University High School. His hobbies and interests include swimming, drawing, history, learning about other cultures, physics, and reading.
I sincerely enjoyed getting to know him, learning about his culture, and hearing his unique perspective on life here in Washington.
He served House members on the chamber floor, which involves making deliveries throughout campus, supporting member offices, and attending Page School. Page School supplemented the hands-on learning experience with a classroom component geared toward understanding the legislative process.
To serve as a House page, students must be at least 14 years of age and have not reached their 17th birthday. The Legislature made a one-time exception this year; the weeks of February 5-10 and April 2-7 are designated for students who are 17-18 years old and were unable to participate previously due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pages earn a stipend of $50 per day and can also earn up to 20 hours of community service.
Students interested in participating next year can find more information about the House program at Leg.Wa.Gov/House/Pages/HousePageProgram.aspx.
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 | List 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.
It’s an honor to serve you.