Dear Friends and Neighbors,
First of all, congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks for winning the Super Bowl! I am so proud of our team and the amazing game they played in New York. The 12th Man was out in force this year, even in New York, and contributed a great deal to the team’s success. It is great to celebrate their victory as a state!
Today is the 26th day of the 60-day session, and we’re nearly halfway through! Today marks “policy cutoff,” which means all House bills must have passed through House policy committees or they are likely “dead” for the year. Here’s a list from House Republicans of some good and bad bills that made it past cutoff, or didn’t. I may not necessarily agree with how each of these are categorized, but this gives you a good idea what legislation is moving forward.
A bill I prime-sponsored this year, House Bill 2674, is moving forward. The bill would allow more licensing sub-agents to process vehicle quick titles. This will provide more convenience and options for car owners to getting a quick title for their vehicle. The House Transportation Committee just passed this bill Wednesday, so now it can be placed on the schedule for a vote by the entire House of Representatives.
Washington State Community Action Partnership
I was honored to receive the “Helping People Change Lives” award from the Washington State Community Action Partnership for my past work on the capital budget. More importantly, the group donated $100 to Food Lifeline which redirects food from manufacturers, farmers, grocery stores and restaurants to people in need. I’m thrilled that such a worthwhile cause will benefit from this award.
Central Washington residents have an unprecedented opportunity this month to influence the state’s management of a large and important parcel of land in the Teanaway River Basin. The departments of Natural Resources (DNR) and Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) are taking applications through Friday, February 14, to become a member of the advisory committee that will help develop the management plan for the Teanaway Community Forest near Cle Elum.
The Legislature authorized the purchase of the 50,000-plus acre forest during the 2013 session, and we included detailed requirements for the public to be consulted on the project and represented on the advisory committee.
The Teanaway purchase is a cornerstone of the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan, an initiative developed by a coalition of public and private organizations. The plan is designed to safeguard the basin’s water supply, restore fisheries, conserve fish and wildlife habitat, preserve working lands and provide recreational opportunities. The forest itself will be managed by DNR in consultation with WDFW, and local community participation will be critical to making sure the two agencies take our values and vision into account as they manage this priceless resource.
I strongly encourage interested 13th District residents to apply to join the advisory committee. Even if you can’t make that commitment, I hope you’ll get involved in the project by attending community meetings, subscribing to the Teanaway Community Forest e-newsletter and sharing your views with the two agencies by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Abortion mandate bill passes House – I voted no
Many of you have contacted my office about House Bill 2148, which mandates that all health insurance plans provide abortion coverage. Unfortunately, this passed the House on Wednesday. I voted no – I don’t believe we should force an insurance company or their customers to pay for abortions which they believe are morally wrong.
Reminder – join us for a telephone town hall next Thursday!
I hope you can join myself, Rep. Manweller and Sen. Holmquist Newbry for a telephone town hall discussion next Thursday, Feb. 13. To join the conversation, which starts at 6:30 p.m., call toll-free (877) 229-8493, then enter pin number 112393. At any time during the hour-long event, you can ask us a question live by pressing star (*) then 3 on your phone. I look forward to your questions!
If you can’t join us for the call, please feel free to contact my office by phone, e-mail, in writing or if you’re visiting the Capitol.
It’s an honor to serve you.