This year’s scheduled 105-day session convened Jan. 14 when Washington State Supreme Court Chief Justice Barbara Madsen administered the oath of office to 98 lawmakers in the state House of Representatives. I stood in the House chamber alongside my colleagues, placed my hand on the Bible, and promised to “uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, the Constitution and laws of the State of Washington, and to faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of the office of a Washington State Representative to the best of my ability.”
It is my honor to serve you and defend freedom and the Constitution in my third term as your state representative.
I take the oath very seriously to uphold the Constitution. And that is why I am continuing my efforts in the Legislature on what I call “The Freedom Agenda.”
The Freedom Agenda – Lower Taxes, Less Government, More Freedom
This agenda seeks to lower taxes, balance the budget, reduce regulation, secure our elections process, push back against federal government over reach, and protect the right to life, the right to property, and the right to bear arms.
Some of the first bills of this agenda have been introduced.
- House Joint Resolution 4203, which would place into the Washington Constitution a requirement that the state’s budget is balanced.
- House Bill 1168 – which is the Health Care Freedom Act. This legislation would allow individuals, employers and health care providers to be exempt from participating in Obamacare.
- House Bill 1169 – the Washington State Energy Freedom Act. This measure would prohibit state agencies from implementing a cap and trade system, and other regulations that address greenhouse gas emissions without having direct and specific legislative authority to do so.
- House Bill 1162 – the Regulatory Fairness Act.
- House Bills 1164 and 1167 to protect private property rights.
- House Bills 1099 and 1100 to relieve the tax burden on working families.
- House Bill 1091 to ensure free, fair and accurate elections.
- House Bill 1371 – Firearms Freedom Act – Protecting our U.S. Constitutional second amendment rights to keep and bear arms.
A major piece of The Freedom Agenda includes lowering your taxes. I want to repeal the death tax, reduce what you pay in state sales taxes, and protect our small farms and businesses in Washington.
Across Washington, voters overwhelmingly approved Initiative 1185, which requires a supermajority to raise taxes. That vote in the 4th District was 73.6 percent. Even in the 3rd District, which is downtown Spokane and the most Democrat of our local districts, the initiative was approved by 66 percent.
People in Washington want this initiative to stand. However, a group of liberal Democrats have sued the people by challenging it in the state Supreme Court.
So my House Republican colleagues and I will be proposing to place the provisions of this initiative into House rules – and I’m co-sponsoring it as a constitutional amendment, so that no matter what the court says – you are protected.
Listen to my radio interview
Today, I was a guest on the Rick Rydell show on KXLY in Spokane and we talked about these proposed House rule changes, as well as the Firearms Freedom Act that I have co-sponsored. You can listen to that interview here.
Standing up for what is right
Thomas Jefferson wrote, “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”
There are many proposals brewing both in the nation’s Capitol and in our state Capitol that would deny law-abiding citizens their second amendment rights to keep and bear arms. Each of us have a right to protect our families and to defend freedom. That’s why I joined with 1,000 other like-minded people this past Sunday at the “Gun Appreciation Day” in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
Above is a photo taken last Tuesday at the March for Life rally at the state Capitol. It was my honor to be asked to speak at this event and stand in unison with those who are fighting to protect the unborn.
Preserving freedom for future generations
President Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed down to the next generation.”
The Freedom Agenda is a means to protect our God-given freedoms that are guaranteed in the United States Constitution.
To preserve liberty and keep government limited, I will be fighting on your behalf in Olympia so that our children and grandchildren may continue to live free.
I invite you to join me in this cause.
In this day and age in which technology and communication are an integral part of our daily lives, I encourage you to take advantage of the many ways to get connected to information about your Washington State Legislature. Here are some very important links to keep you informed:
- Capitol Buzz – A daily electronic clip service of House Republicans. Click here to subscribe.
- The Current – An online publication from House Republicans to include you in the legislative process. Click here to subscribe.
- Audio reports – sign up for my RSS audio reports.
- Photos – Access my photo gallery here.
- Video updates – Every two weeks, I record a new legislative video update with the latest news from the Legislature. You can view my reports here on YouTube.
- TVW – The state’s own version of C-Span, TVW broadcasts floor and committee action live. You can also watch on your computer, smartphone or tablet: www.tvw.org.
- Legislature’s Web site – You can get bill reports, committee agendas and information about upcoming activities in the Legislature at: www.leg.wa.gov.
Please share this e-newsletter with everyone you know and encourage them to sign up for it from my Web site at: houserepublicans.wa.gov/matt-shea.