Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I want to thank those of you who have contacted my office with your thoughts and ideas over the last few weeks. I appreciate knowing where your stand on the issues as we continue on through the 2013 legislative session. I'm extremely grateful for those of you who have been able to visit my office from district. It's always great to see folks and faces from home.
However, if you do visit, please make sure you contact my Olympia office so that my Legislative Assistant knows to make time for you on my schedule. Things are very busy and there always seems to be “last minute” scheduling changes. I don't want to miss anyone from district. If you're coming this way, I'll make every effort to touch base with you while you're here.
Allowing counties to revert back to “poll-site voting”
I'm sponsoring House Bill 1317 which would allow counties the option of going back to “poll-site voting” where the public would vote at elementary schools, fire stations, etc. if a majority of the voters in the county elected to do so. While mail-in ballots are all the rage – and they certainly have increased the NUMBER of people of voting – it has done very little to educate voters or enable them to make informed decisions. I've heard from county officials and from many in my district that say voters today don't have any skin in the game; that it's become too easy to vote without exerting the effort to be informed and actually make an effort to “get out and vote.”
My bill wouldn't mandate poll-site voting at all. It just gives each county in the state the option if they want it.
The Second Amendment
This year, I am also the prime sponsor of the Washington State Firearms Freedom Act (House Bill 1371) which basically says that Washington state is not going to enforce – or allow the federal government to enforce – laws that violate our Constitution and our Second Amendment rights.
Many of you have contacted my office to ask about guns. I know this is an emotional and sensitive subject for many but I feel it is imperative that you know where I stand on this sometimes-controversial issue. While tragic, the recent shootings in our nation should not serve as the impetus for the continuing degradation of our “inalienable rights.” There will be many different bills introduced here in the Legislature this session and of course, there has been a lot of talk and fear about the president's gun control bills. However, I swore an oath to “uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, and the Constitution and laws of the State of Washington.” And in my heart of hearts, I believe that standing up for our Second Amendment rights is the right thing to do.
Fund Education First
I am once again joining my House Republican colleagues in supporting a proposal to Fund Education First. As the state Supreme Court has recently reaffirmed in the McCleary decision, educating our students is our state's number one priority: it's paramount duty. I believe we don't just need to throw more money at education (although more funding will undoubtedly be required by the court) but we need to fund it first in a separate, stand-alone budget along with reforms.
At present, our education funding gets lumped into all the other state expenditures, so education is constantly competing with other programs. We must prioritize our spending. We must finally admit that the dollar we spend on education (and, for that matter, the truly vulnerable among us like seniors and our developmentally disabled community) truly has more value – more weight – than the dollar we spend on paid family leave or buying more private land for an environmental buffer zone. Until we come to that realization, education will continue to receive our state's last dime instead of our first dollar.
In this day and age in which technology and communication are an integral part of our daily lives, I encourage you to take advantage of the many ways to get connected to information about your Washington State Legislature. Here are some very important links to keep you informed:
- Capitol Buzz – A daily electronic clip service of House Republicans. Click here to subscribe.
- The Current – An online publication from House Republicans to include you in the legislative process. Click here to subscribe.
- Capitol Report – A three-minute weekly radio program (aired on KONA in Pasco, and KIT in Yakima) that discusses current issues of the 15th District and the state. Click here to sign up for my RSS podcast. You can also get all of the Washington House Republican Capitol Report programs on your iPhone and iPad through the iTunes store by clicking here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/capitol-report-washington/id579017734.
- Check out my Web site – This year, I have a new Web site: houserepublicans.wa.gov/david-taylor. From this link, you can get more information about me, the bills I've sponsored and view my news releases.
- Photos – Access my photo gallery here.
- TVW – The state's own version of C-Span, TVW broadcasts floor and committee action live. You can also watch on your computer, smartphone or tablet: www.tvw.org
- Legislature's Web site – You can get bill reports, committee agendas and information about upcoming activities in the Legislature at: www.leg.wa.gov
Also, please share this e-newsletter with everyone you know and encourage them to sign up for it from my Web site at: houserepublicans.wa.gov/david-taylor.
Thanks for reading my e-newsletter and thanks for the honor of serving you in Olympia.