Dear Friends and Neighbors,
A lot of you have been asking how you can best stay informed as the 2019 session progresses. First, I would encourage you to follow our caucus Twitter and Facebook pages, as well as subscribe to the Capitol Buzz—a weekday summary of online news stories from across the state. I would also recommend bookmarking the News and Media page on the House Republican website, where you'll find our press releases, radio interviews and video updates. And as always, please feel free to email me anytime with your questions.
Topics in this update include:
- Policy committee cutoff and an update on my bills
- Sponsoring Shelton HS student Josiah Sushak as a House page
- The Legislature takes a snow day
- Links to my weekly meetings
- Contacting me
Policy committee cutoff and an update on my bills
This past Friday was policy committee cutoff, the first major deadline of the 2019 session. All policy bills that did not advance out of their respective policy committees are now considered “dead” unless deemed necessary to implement the budget. Bills I've sponsored this session that are still alive include House Bills 1088, 1419, 1430, 1557 and 1676. I covered these bills in my last email update.
Below are some of other bills I've sponsored this session that are still alive:
House Bill 1089 would delink state tests from high school graduation requirements, which is an effort I've been focused on for years. These tests were never designed to determine graduation eligibility, and I continue to believe they're more of a hindrance than a help to our students. If we simply trust the curriculum and our great teachers, I believe students will be adequately prepared for the important next steps of life. HB 1089 was recently approved by the House Education Committee, and is currently in the House Rules Committee.
House Bill 1304 would establish the Vocational Alternative Learning Experience Pilot Program, which up to 10 school districts could participate in. This would open the door for more career and technical education opportunities for students. This bill was also approved by the House Education Committee, and now awaits further action in the House Appropriations Committee.
House Bill 1559 would create a three-day sales tax holiday for the purchase of back-to-school clothing and supplies. Not only would this help parents financially, but it would also help ensure students are properly equipped for the upcoming school year. HB 1559 received a public hearing in the House Finance Committee yesterday, and I hope to see it continue making its way through the legislative process.
The next major session deadline is fiscal committee cutoff on March 1, when bills that do have an impact on the budget are required to be passed out of their respective fiscal committees.
Sponsoring Shelton HS student Josiah Sushak as a House page
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to sponsor 16-year-old Josiah Sushak as a page here in the state House. Josiah attends Shelton High School, and is an active participant in the school's Naval Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) program. After high school, he hopes to attend the University of Washington and receive a Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps scholarship. From there, his goal is to become a Navy nuclear propulsion officer.
During his week at the Capitol, Josiah attended page school every day, delivered messages and documents to legislators and staff, and fulfilled other tasks critical to the efficient operation of the Legislature.
I could not have been more impressed by Josiah's professionalism and the way he carried out his duties throughout the week. It's a testament to how well the NJROTC prepares students for success in school and in life. I'm grateful to Josiah for his service to the House, and wish him the best going forward.
If you know of someone who would make a great page, please send me an email. Applicants must have a legislative sponsor, be between the ages of 14 and 16, and obtain written permission from their parents and school. Pages earn $35 per day while serving in the program. For more information, click here.
The Legislature takes a snow day
It's very rare for anything to slow down the momentum of session once it's under way, but Snowmaggedon a couple of weeks ago did just that. Committee meetings were cancelled, as was floor action, but thanks to the incredible work of city and county road crews, most of us were back to work the next day.
For a photo gallery of what the Capitol Campus looked like during the snowstorm, click here.
In the interest of full transparency, I will be providing you with a list of my weekly meetings during the 2019 session. I posted weeks 1-3 in my last email update. Below are links to weeks 4-6:
Please continue contacting me with your comments, questions and concerns. Your feedback helps me to better serve you. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, and my phone number is (360) 786-7902.