The fight for freedom continues in Olympia. I have introduced and/or co-sponsored 22 bills in an effort to lower taxes, ensure less government, and promote more freedom. Many have received hearings or are scheduled for hearings in their respective committees.
I wanted to take a few moments to provide you a brief update of the actions in the Legislature since my last e-mail update.
Please contact my office if you have questions, comments, or suggestions. My phone number, e-mail address and other contact information is at the bottom of this newsletter.
The Freedom Agenda – Regulatory Fairness Act – House Bill 1162
What's the biggest obstacle to start-up businesses in Washington state? Government regulations! And that's why we continue to see businesses moving just a few miles east across the Idaho border to set up shop because they don't have to fight government there like they do here in Washington.
Twelve years ago, just after Boeing moved its headquarters from Seattle to Chicago, there was concern that Washington could lose more of its largest employers if it didn't change its regulatory structure. Then Gov. Gary Locke convened the Washington Competitiveness Council to examine the state's ability to compete in the global economy of the 21st century. In its report back to Locke and the Legislature in January 2002, the council said:
“The current regulatory structure unnecessarily delays projects, increases project cost, creates unnecessary uncertainty, reduces operating flexibility, and increases barriers to business growth. It stirs hostility toward government. It wastes resources, increasing government costs. It leads to angry applicants and it encourages project opponents to manipulate the permitting system.”
The report was supposed to be used as a basis for regulatory reform in Washington state. What has changed in 11 years in state government?
NOTHING! In fact, our regulatory system has gotten worse.
Consider this: In 2011, the Washington Administrative Code – these are the regulations adopted by state agencies – the code had nearly 18,000 pages of rules and regulations. Each one of these are rules and regulations businesses in Washington are supposed to know and abide by. In 2011 alone, more than 1,400 new, permanent rules were adopted, 2,600 rules were amended, 459 emergency rules were made, and only 1,100 rules repealed. And then last year, another 1,100 new rules were permanently adopted.
Several days ago, I stood face-to-face with the new governor, Jay Inslee, and told him about our state's regulatory crisis. I told him about a trucking company in the 4th District that is regulated by 24 different agencies and a local auto body shop which has 11 agencies regulating its painting booth. The governor said he's willing to work with me to help change the state's regulatory structure. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.
If we want change, it must be more than talk. We need action! That's why I have proudly co-sponsored the Regulatory Fairness Act of 2013 – House Bill 1162. This bill would:
- establish that an administrative rule having a specified economic impact cannot be enforced until enacted into law by the Legislature;
- require that an agency provide notification to the Legislature before adopting a rule having a specified economic impact; and
- require state agencies to conduct an annual review of their rules to determine if any existing regulations have resulted in a specified economic impact.
The measure received a hearing on Jan. 31 in the House Government Operations and Elections Committee. We are awaiting committee action.
Here's a look at the bills I have introduced this session in the House of Representatives and their status:
House Bill 1091 – Would repeal the national popular vote in Washington and elect presidential election votes by congressional district. Hearing held Jan. 29 in the House Government Operations and Elections Committee. Awaiting further action.
House Bill 1092 – Would allow a former owner of certain real property under the Washington State Department of Transportation to repurchase that property if WSDOT determines it to no longer be necessary for a transportation purpose. Referred to House Transportation Committee.
House Bill 1093 – Would restrict who lobbies on behalf of a state agency. Public hearing held Jan. 24 in the House Government Operations and Elections Committee. Awaiting further action.
House Bill 1094 – Would require agreements between state agencies and the federal government to be reported to the Legislature. Public hearing held Jan. 22 in the House Government Operations and Elections Committee. Awaiting further action.
House Bill 1168 – Would enact the Washington State Health Care Freedom Act of 2013, effectively removing Washington state from the Obamacare mandates. Referred to the House Health Care and Wellness Committee.
House Bill 1169 – Would prohibit state agencies from implementing a cap and trade system and addressing greenhouse gas emissions without direct legislative authority (Washington State Energy Freedom Act). Referred to the House Environment Committee.
House Bill 1257 – Would establish parental notification for abortion. Referred to the House Health Care and Wellness Committee.
House Bill 1335 – Would repeal unnecessary provisions involving the Washington State Bar Association. Referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
House Bill 1391 – Would limit enrollment in certain health care and human service programs to U.S. citizens and qualified aliens. Referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
House Bill 1392 – Would protect citizens from the application of foreign laws that would result in a violation of a constitutional right. Referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
House Bill 1430 – Would reduce property tax delinquencies by modifying collection practices. Referred to the House Finance Committee.House Bill 1520 – Would create procedures for disposing property in the leased premises of a deceased tenant. Referred to the House Finance Committee.
House Bill 1632 – Would regulate the use of off-road vehicles in several areas.
House Joint Resolution 4203 – Would require a balanced state budget. Referred to the House Appropriations Committee.
House Joint Resolution 4205 – Would require that all mandatory, regulator, licensing and disciplinary functions of law and administration of justice reside exclusively in the state Supreme Court. Referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
Central Valley High School student helps as a page
It was my honor to recently host one of our students from the 4th District as a page in the House of Representatives. Zac Ladd is a sophomore at Central Valley High School. He's also the 16-year-old son of Mark and Michele Ladd of Liberty Lake.
As a page, Zac's duties include delivering messages and bills to lawmakers' offices and to the House floor. Pages also spend time in the Legislative Page School learning about state government.
If you know of someone between the ages of 14 and 16 who would like to learn more about state government and serve as a page in the Legislature, contact my office and visit this Web site for more details: http://www.leg.wa.gov/House/Pages/HousePageProgram.aspx
Get involved in your Legislature – the people's government!
A new feature on the Legislature's Web site: www.leg.wa.gov gives you the opportunity to comment on introduced bills. Just search for the bill you wish to comment on. Then look for the button that says, “Comment on this bill.” Leave your comments and it will be forwarded to me and your other 4th District legislators.
Also, don't forget these following 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.