Friends and Neighbors,
It's the beginning of week eight in the state Legislature. On Friday we passed the deadline — known around here as “cutoff” — for bills with fiscal impacts to pass out of committee. The previous week was the deadline for policy bills. And this week, we will be on the House floor to vote on legislation. To read a brief explanation of what the various deadlines mean and what the Legislature's schedule looks like, click here.
Good bills/Bad bills
Once deadlines are past, we're able to survey the good bills — and bad bills — that did or didn't make it. You can see a comprehensive list of “alive” and “dead” bills that are “good” or “bad” from the perspective of House Republicans here.
As for bills I've sponsored, the following, which I mentioned in my last update, are still alive:
- HB 1736: Extending the aerospace tax incentive to rotorcraft (helicopter) manufacturers. This bill is designed to bring a new manufacturer to Southwest Washington, which will provide approximately 50 good-paying jobs (with an average salary of $70,000 per year) and eventually expand to more jobs as well as open our state to other manufacturers of rotorcraft and rotorcraft mission equipment. It passed the House Technology and Economic Development Committee and had a public hearing in the House Finance Committee this week.
- HB 1737: Substitute teachers. Allows certain retirees to substitute-teach without affecting their retirement benefits. This is important, as many Southwest Washington school districts are struggling to find substitute teachers. The bill not only helps ensure that substitutes are available, but that they are trained teachers who can walk into a classroom and continue with the lesson plan so learning is virtually uninterrupted. It passed the House Appropriations Committee Feb. 25.
- HB 1738: Off-road fuel refunds. Places any new fuel tax (upon passage of any tax increase) from off-road vehicles (ORVs), as well as taxes from the 2003 and 2005 tax increases, beginning in 2031, into non-highway user accounts for ORV trails maintenance. It passed the House Transportation Committee Feb. 16, and has been sent to the Rules Committee.
- HB 2012: Practical design. Helps ensure transportation projects are designed for the needs of the area where they are undertaken, rather than being grossly overbuilt. It would lead to significant cost-savings on transportation projects. It passed the House Transportation Committee Feb. 24.
Please stay in touch
Do you have comments, questions or ideas about the Legislature or state government? Please don't hesitate to email, call or write my office — my contact information is at the bottom of this update. It is an honor to serve you.