Dear Friends and Neighbors,
As your newest 7th District legislator I'd like to say what an honor it is to work for you in Olympia. Bringing our core values and priorities to the Legislature and fighting for you are what drives me each and every day. Thank you for taking the time to read this quick legislative update. If there is anything I can do for you, or if you have questions or concerns about a state issue, please contact my office. I'm here to help.
7th District Telephone Town Hall
A huge thank you to all who participated in last week's telephone town hall event. We had over 3,000 total participants with up to 700 people on the line at any one time. Our operators took 130 questions from citizens just like you on topics like immigration, education, the Second Amendment, marijuana, water rights, property rights, wolves, wildfires and more.
You are what make these events a success. The participation we get from the 7th District is outstanding. You are a very involved and informed community and I'm grateful for your feedback on, and interest in, the issues we're dealing with in Olympia.
The attack on the Second Amendment
The gun bills moving through the Legislature have generated a massive outpouring from around the state, especially in the 7th District. Most of the really bad gun bills died in committee. This includes two particularly onerous bills requested by state Attorney General Bob Ferguson:
HB 1134 – would have banned the possession, purchase, sale or transfer of so-called “assault weapons” and large capacity magazines (anything over 10 rounds). This is the typical scare tactic used by those who want to take away our freedoms and has nothing to do with reducing violent crime or making anyone actually safer. The FBI's own statistics show I'm more likely to be killed by a club or hammer than any type of rifle, let alone one with a collapsible stock, a pistol grip and whatever else AG Ferguson deems inappropriate. Thankfully, this bill died in committee.
HB 1387 – another Ferguson idea, this bill would have imposed a special registration-licensing system for large capacity magazines and certain firearms. This bill also died in committee, thanks to the voices of many citizens like you.
One bill that did make it through committee is HB 1122. This bill would require gun owners to lock up their firearms or potentially face Class C felony reckless endangerment charges. I'm not a fan of government telling people how they should defend themselves, their families or their property. Our Second Amendment rights are very clear and very important to me and I'll be working to kill this bill.
Some good news for concealed pistol license holders. HB 1100 would require the Department of Licensing to send out renewal notices approximately 90 days in advance of the license expiring. A CPL license is the ONLY license where DOL currently does not send out renewal notices, resulting in higher renewal fees for expired licenses. This bill passed the House and is now in the Senate Law and Justice Committee.
Water rights and the Hirst decision
There are still several bills still moving through the legislative process to fix the state Supreme Court's overreach on water quality issues for permit exempt wells. Known as the Hirst decision, this ruling has ground rural development to a halt around the state and could potentially devastate local economies. As the assistant ranking Republican on the House Environment Committee, I'm working with my colleagues in the House and Senate to come up with a viable solution that protects property rights and allows our citizens the certainty they need to develop their land. I'll keep you informed on this important issue as the session progresses.
Standing firm against a state income tax
We don't have a capital gains tax in Washington state. House Democrats have proposed one, but here's the interesting thing. Every state in the nation that has a capital gains tax also has a state income tax! It's the proverbial camel's nose under the tent. I know folks in my district are not asking me for a state income tax. As such, I'm cosponsoring legislation that would amend the state constitution to ban a state income tax.
The Legislature is working on the final puzzle piece to the McCleary ruling, requiring an end to the state's overreliance on local levy dollars for basic education. The Republican-controlled Senate passed their plan, which you can view here. The Democrat-controlled House also passed their education funding plan, albeit without the nearly $11 billion in new tax dollars required to fund the plan. Here's what some of the media are saying:
- The News Tribune: State House passes plan to fix school funding, but not how to pay for it
- The Seattle Times: State House passes education proposal, but doesn't say how to fund it
- The Spokesman-Review: Washington House passes Democrats' school plan; GOP asks 'Where's the money?'
- The Everett Herald: State House passes education funding bill; challenges loom
I joined with my House Republican colleagues in offering several amendments to help bring accountability and meaningful reforms to the table. You can watch a compilation of that debate here.
With both sides presenting their plans, the real negotiations begin. If you'd like, you can view a side-by-side non-partisan comparison of the two plans here. I'm hopeful that with both sides talking now, we can take care of students, teachers, parents and school administrators within the 105-day legislative session.
Keeping in touch; staying informed
You can always visit my website at www.RepresentativeJacquelinMaycumber.com From there you can sign up for my e-newsletter (in case this one was forwarded to you by a friend), watch my video updates, or listen to radio updates that are sent to KCVL Radio in Colville and KOMW in Omak.
Again, if you have any questions or concerns about state government issues, please don't hesitate to contact my office.