Friends and Neighbors,
Tuesday represented the midway point of the 2018 legislative session. Short, 60-day sessions in even-numbered years always seem to move quickly. In fact, we've already hit two important cutoff deadlines: policy committee cutoff (February 2) and fiscal committee cutoff (February 6). Our next deadline is house of origin cutoff on February 14.
These deadlines, which the Legislature sets each year, help keep the legislative process on track. They also reduce the number of legislative proposals to a manageable level and allow state lawmakers, stakeholders and the public to know the universe of bills still being considered during the homestretch of the legislative session. This link contains information that explains each deadline in more detail.
Update on my rural broadband legislation
My rural broadband legislation, House Bill 2749, did not pass out of the House Technology and Economic Development Committee by policy committee cutoff. I'm disappointed by this outcome. But since this bill has fiscal ties, it is my hope that it will be exempted from that deadline. I'll keep working on it.
Too many rural communities around our state lack broadband or reliable Internet access. If we are truly striving for “One Washington,” this issue must be addressed. I remain committed to finding solutions – regardless of who sponsors the legislation.
Other prime-sponsored bills
I'm the prime sponsor of 16 bills. Many of these are issues my constituents – or those I work with on my committees – have asked me to help advance.
House Bill 2918
House Bill 2918 passed out of the House Community Development, Housing and Tribal Affairs Committee on February 1. It would create a mobile home and manufactured housing rental assistance program within the state Department of Commerce. The program would provide monetary rental assistance to eligible tenants of mobile home lots.
In my committee testimony, which you can watch here, I explain why this solution is important to some of my constituents. I also emphasized to the chair of the committee that we need to act sooner rather than later.
House Bill 2918 must now pass out of the House Appropriations Committee before it can advance to the House floor.
House Bill 2919
House Bill 2919, also inspired by a constituent, would create a family cemetery permit and authorize human burials on private property. A permit would be issued through the state Funeral and Cemetery Board.
You can watch my House Business and Financial Services Committee testimony on this bill here. While it appears this legislation is no longer eligible for consideration, it started an important conversation that I hope will continue in the future.
While I often discuss my roles on the House Transportation and Finance committees, I also deal with important issues as a member of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. For example, topics such as agriculture, fisheries, forest practices, mining, water and wildlife.
I was recently interviewed by the Washington Ag Network. I discussed the threat of wildfires and how prescribed burning could be a viable option to prevent them. I also spoke against the governor's proposed carbon tax. You can listen to the interview here.
In my last email update, I discussed the Hirst solution, capital budget and my broadband bill. I expanded on these topics in my recent video update. I encourage you to watch it and share your feedback.
I always welcome your questions and feedback. You may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (360) 786-7990. You can also set up a meeting with me. My office is located at 408 in the John L. O'Brien Building. You can find an interactive Capitol campus map here.