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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We're nearing the halfway point of the 2015 legislative session. The next 10 days or so will be spent debating and voting on legislation on the House floor. To see which of the main bills are still alive or which ones are considered “dead” for the session, click here.
Those of you who know me well know that everything I do in Olympia – every decision I make – is focused on less government, less taxes and more freedom. I come from a region known for producing hard working, self-sufficient lovers of liberty. I take that heritage with me to Olympia and try my best to represent those characteristics that I see every day back home.
I had the opportunity early on in session to appear on TVW's Inside Olympia with my friend and colleague, Rep. Matt Shea from Spokane Valley. We were able to expound more on our beliefs and our efforts to work with anyone who truly values freedom and liberty. If you'd like to watch that video, click here.
I've introduced legislation once again this year (HB 1639) to limit the state government's ability to use technology-enhanced surveillance. It's very similar to last year's “drone bill,” which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support only to be vetoed by the governor. The governor then convened a task force to study the issue. While the task force couldn't come up with a consensus, we did use some of their suggestions and cleaned up the language a little. The bill has passed through committee and I expect to vote on it any day now. The Speaker of the House has told me he considers this a priority once again this year, proving that freedom and liberty are NOT partisan issues. To read some of the media coverage on my bill, click here, here or here.
I've introduced several other bills to protect our property rights, gun rights, privacy rights and water rights. Click here to view a list of all the bills I've sponsored this year.
With the passage of I-594, the Second Amendment (the right to keep and bear arms) has been one of the hottest topics in my office and around the state. We've introduced legislation to completely repeal this horrible, freedom-grabbing initiative. We also have legislation to send it back to the voters now that so many folks finally realize how bad the initiative was worded. There are efforts to try to fix the language of the law in a piecemeal fashion because it impacts armed security guards, military veterans, gun range employees, firearms manufacturers and a host of others. But I think the solution is to repeal this law altogether. At this point, we're not receiving much cooperation from the majority party in the House but we'll keep at it!
Gov. Inslee's Carbon Tax
We have a governor who never met a tax he didn't like. This year, he's pushing hard for a cap and trade program (a carbon tax) to further his extreme environmental agenda. His plan would tax employers to the tune of a billion dollars – with a B! On his “big polluters” list are agriculture producers, energy producers and other key employers in rural Washington. The end result would be to drive up the price of food, energy and fuel. And for what? Washington is already one of the greenest states in the nation. If you eliminated every car, truck, plane, tractor, boat, factory, person and cow in the entire state, the impact to global greenhouse gas emissions would be less than three-tenths of one percent!
To watch a short video about how me and other members of the House Environment Committee attempted to amend or defeat the governor's plan in committee, click here.
Take my online survey!
I want to hear from you. I created a quick online survey where you can let me know where you stand on a variety of issues. Are you interested in paying a higher gas tax to fund transportation projects around the state? Should the state allow producers to grow industrial hemp (non THC) as an agriculture product in Washington state? I want to know. Click here to take my online survey.
To listen to an interview I did with Law and Liberty Radio on property rights, click here. To listen to a recent interview on 1280 News talk KIT radio with Lance Tormey and Dave Ettl, click here. To listen to an interview I did on KATS 94.5 radio with Todd Lyons, click here.
As always, thank you for taking the time to read my e-newsletter and for staying involved. It is truly an honor to serve you in Olympia. Stay vigilant as we defend freedom and liberty and work to make our state a better place to live, work and raise a family!
421 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7874 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000