Friends and Neighbors,
The House reached its first legislative deadline today: policy committee cutoff. This means that all policy-only bills needed to pass out of their respective House policy committees or they are no longer eligible for consideration this session.
Bills that have a fiscal impact are subject to a different deadline: fiscal committee cutoff. This cutoff is March 1. The House fiscal committees are: Appropriations, Capital, Finance (where I am the ranking Republican) and Transportation. We can expect a lot of action in these committees next week.
This session calendar highlights all of the deadlines, which are established to keep state lawmakers on track and the work of the Legislature moving. They also narrow down the number of bills that are considered in committees and the House floor – which helps everyone involved in the legislative process. These deadlines apply in both the House and Senate. They assure we have a chance to consider bills from the other chamber and still finish on time.
Update on bad independent contractor bills
Here is some good news: the bad legislation upon which I focused my last email update, House Bill 1515, was changed significantly and would now create a workgroup on employee classification. You can learn more about this workgroup here. The measure passed out of the House Labor and Workforce Standards Committee on Thursday and is now eligible to be pulled to the House floor from the House Rules Committee.
House Bill 1515, in its initial form, could have forced many independent contractors across our state to work for an employer, as opposed to being their own boss. While hair stylists, cosmetologists and barbers were featured in the media opposing this and similar bills, and did a great job with their grassroots efforts, the reality is this bill would have affected all types of independent contractors in various industries.
I'm glad to see the harmful parts of House Bill 1515, and all of House Bill 1601 (which includes wage boards), stopped. However, the fight is not over. We need to make sure the new workgroup doesn't lead to a revival of the harmful provisions in the original bill. We also must be diligent about identifying and stopping all legislation that threatens someone's pursuit of the American dream and hurts small business. I will keep you updated.
Two additional bills I am prime sponsoring
I recently shared information on 10 bills (House Bills 1800-09) I am prime sponsoring. All but two of these measures received public hearings, and I expect some of them to pass out of their committees.
I dropped two more bills last week. Here's more information on these measures:
House Bill 2085 would create a Mount St. Helens special license plate, proceeds from which would fund educational programs about Mt. St. Helens.
House Bill 2086 would allow leased land in a mobile home park or manufactured housing community to qualify for the senior, veteran and persons with disabilities property tax exemption. This is similar to another piece of legislation I sponsored – House Bill 1804, which is a slightly different approach to solving the same problem.
You can view all of the bills for which I am the prime or secondary sponsor of here.
Recent video update
In my video update last week, I discussed two bills I am sponsoring – one that would provide more local control and flexibility to school districts on scheduling, and another that would bring more tax fairness for people who purchase a car through a third party. You can find the video here. My past video updates can be found at this YouTube page.
House Page Program
Over the last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to sponsor two students as House Pages: Jacob Zipperer and Natalie Higgins (pictured below). The House Page Program is a great opportunity for students ages 14 to 16 to experience the Legislature up close and learn more about state government. Please contact me if you'd like more information.
I appreciate you staying connected with the legislative process. If I can ever be of assistance, or if you have thoughts to share with me, please feel free to call me at (360) 786-7990 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.