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Friends and Neighbors,

As I mentioned in my last email update, House Democrats met on July 31 to choose the next Speaker of the House. They chose Rep. Laurie Jinkins of Tacoma. She will be Speaker-designate until January, when her selection must be confirmed by the House of Representatives.

I would like to congratulate Rep. Jinkins on her election. I hope to meet with her, one-on-one, prior to the 2020 legislative session as I would like to learn more about her vision for the state and the Legislature, and share the strengths and challenges facing the 20th District.

While I welcome a new era in the House, I do have concerns about Rep. Jinkins’ past support of certain policies – including a capital gains income tax. In fact, she has been arguably the biggest proponent of this new tax in the Legislature over the last decade – including sponsoring House Bill 2156 last year. I am opposed to this new tax and any new tax on income in our state. Our state has enough money to pay for its priorities and does not need new or increased revenue streams – especially having just raised taxes by $2.5 billion as recently as this year.  

Gov. Inslee should reimburse state taxpayers for his presidential campaign expenses   

As you probably heard, Gov. Inslee abandoned his presidential ambitions by dropping out of the race on August 22. Unfortunately, he is refusing to reimburse state taxpayers for the extra security costs associated with his campaign – continuing to hide behind the line, “I am following the law.”

While he is technically following the law, and everyone believes the security of our governor is important, there is nothing that prevents him from reimbursing the state for these campaign-related costs. We are not talking huge cuts; however, this money could be used to help fund other programs that benefit the citizens. The governor should do the right thing here.

House Republicans offered a solution to this problem early in the 2019 legislative session. As Rep. Jim Walsh explained in this news release from last December, House Bill 1021 would have allowed supporters to contribute funding to help defray the cost of the Washington State Patrol security detail assigned to protect the governor during his out-of-state political travel. The measure wasn’t even given a public hearing.

Meetings throughout the 20th District

I continue to meet with local officials and constituents throughout the district and act on their behalf with state agencies. This includes addressing concerns and preparing for the 2020 legislative session. The planning must start now – not wait until December.

Some of my meetings, tours and events have included:

  • Castle Rock City officials;
  • Woodland Chamber of Commerce;
  • Cowlitz/Clark Farm Bureau;
  • The Packwood Business Owners Association;
  • Stakeholders on the improvements to Rush Road;
  • Thurston Chamber of Commerce;
  • Greenwood Cemetery Cleanup;
  • Toutle Lake High School Robotics Team event;
  • Ribbon cutting for Orin T. Smith Elementary School;
  • Groundbreaking for Recreation Park in Chehalis;
  • Health facilities in Randle, Morton and Centralia; and  
  • Numerous constituents with various issues throughout the district.

Committee Assembly Days in September and November

The House came together in Olympia this week. It’s called Committee Assembly and state representatives held caucus and committee hearings on Thursday, September 12, and Friday, September 13. This was a chance for legislators to get feedback on bills that were recently passed, projects that are in the works, start planning for the next session, and to resolve issues that have arisen since the end of the last legislative session.

The House and Senate will hold another Committee Assembly November 21-22. The Joint Transportation Committee will also meet in Spokane from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 19.

Recent headlines

Proposed deal in car tab lawsuit would refund $125 million to vehicle owners (KOMO TV)
The Big One: Is Southwest Washington prepared? (The Reflector)
Washington is usually ablaze with wildfires this time of year. What happened? (Crosscut)
Coming down the pipe: Saving Washington’s salmon may require replacing tens of thousands of culverts, and nobody knows where the money will come from (The Chronicle)
DNR tells county to expect further decline in timber revenues (The Chronicle)
Just how tough are Washington’s standardized tests? New report compares states. (The Seattle Times)
County approves biorefinery study (The Chronicle)
State cancels two more contracts with in-home care provider (NW News Network)
OPINION: A nursing home crisis is brewing (Rep. Jim Walsh, 19th Legislative District/The Daily News)

Ready to assist you

My Legislative Assistant, Tori, and I are here to assist you. We welcome your calls, emails and letters, and are willing to meet with you, assist with casework, and prepare legislation if that is what is needed to help resolve issues you are having. Please contact us at (360) 786-7990 or ed.orcutt@leg.wa.gov.


Ed Orcutt

State Representative Ed Orcutt, 20th Legislative District
408 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7990 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000