Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The 2019 legislative session began last week. I was honored to be asked by my colleagues to give the official response to Gov. Jay Inslee's State of the State address.
While the governor focused his speech on more spending, more taxes and more bureaucracy, I chose to focus on the people paying the bills. We have record revenue collections thanks to you – the taxpayers of this state. We don't need to raise taxes by another $3.7 billion as the governor has suggested.
My colleagues also elected me to the position of House Republican Floor Leader, becoming the first woman to hold the position since 1983. As Floor Leader, it is my job to manage floor debate, respond to parliamentary procedures and actions, help establish our agenda, and then oversee the messaging of that agenda back to constituents and stakeholders.
Both my seatmates are also in elected leadership positions. Rep. Joel Kretz is the Deputy Minority Leader, and Sen. Shelly Short is the Floor Leader for Senate Republicans. It is rare to have all three legislators from the same district in elected leadership positions. But I think it reflects upon the quality, intellect, involvement, and hardworking people of the 7th District. When we say “7th District Strong!” – it means something!
There are many issues we'll be working on this session. Mental health, taxes, affordable housing and homelessness, water, rural broadband, guns, opioids, and more. One issue very important to me – and the people in our district – is ensuring our veterans have access to the services and programs they're entitled to; services they've earned.
Once again, I'm sponsoring legislation to create the Veterans Service Officer Program, which will provide a funding mechanism to establish a veterans service officer within underserved counties. It is vitally important to connect our veterans to the services they're entitled to. Our region has a particular need as we see more and more veterans settling in our area once they separate from service.
My bill, House Bill 1448, is scheduled for a public hearing in the House Housing, Community Development and Veterans Committee at 8:00 a.m. on Jan. 30.
7th District Telephone Town Hall!
I would like to invite you to participate in our 7th Legislative District Telephone Town Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 13 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. We do our best to send out automated phone calls which allow people to join the event, but if you don't receive a call by about 6:05 or so, you can call (509) 213-3069. We'll give you an update on the legislative session, the issues we're working on, and take questions from you. Because of the size of our district, this is the best way to reach out to constituents in a timely, efficient manner. I hope you can join us!
Thank you for reading my email update. And thank you for the honor of serving you in Olympia. I'm here to listen to you, represent our shared interests and values, and work hard on your behalf. Together, we are 7th District Strong!