VICTORY IS OURS in the fight against those who wish to remove your constitutionally-guaranteed right to keep and bear arms. The background checks gun control measure, House Bill 1588, is DEAD for this session. I invite you to read on for the details of how we (and you) killed this horrific freedom-attacking bill.
Also, I'd like to invite you to join me for a telephone town hall meeting this coming Wednesday, March 20, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. where we can discuss issues such as the Freedom Agenda, gun control bills, the state revenue forecast (which is to be released earlier that day) and budget proposals. For details and how to participate, see below.
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.
Gun Control Background Checks Bill is dead!
Shea amendments help to kill the bill
It was probably the most intense day of my four years in the House of Representatives. House Speaker Frank Chopp notified Republican leadership that he would be bringing House Bill 1588 to the floor for a vote on Tuesday, March 12, as soon as he could secure the 50th vote for the measure. This is the bill that would have required background checks on all gun sales, even private sales. It was the most egregious assault of the session against our Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms.
After breaking for caucus, we prayed and then discovered that conservative and liberal Democrats were in disagreement with each other over the bill. So I, along with Republican Reps. Jason Overstreet and David Taylor, set out to draft amendments we believed would eventually lead in killing the bill. These included exempting private transactions for sales tax, exempting active duty military and prohibiting a gun registry. The Democrats caucused for six hours as we proposed different amendments. Finally, when it became evident they would not reach agreement for the 50th vote, House Democrats gave up and exited the caucus room, and then adjourned for the evening. This was a post on one of the Democrats' Twitter page:
On Friday, Rep. Cary Condotta, R-East Wenatchee, talked about the fight against House Bill 1588 to KOZI Radio in Chelan, and described my role in the process:
“This week and a half on the floor was amazing. And that day on the gun bill was one of the most intense things I've seen since I've been here. And I've got to tell you our (House Republican) caucus performed brilliantly. We kept Frank off balance with amendments. Matt Shea and our leader, Richard DeBolt, really teamed up to finally beat Frank Chopp at his own game, and I think it was a thrilling win for everybody, and certainly a big piece of the Freedom Agenda we talk about.”
Listen to Rep. Condotta's remarks
Thanks to all of you who rallied in person, in e-mails, letters and phone calls. It was my honor to lead this fight for the House Republican Caucus, but the credit goes to God and you, the citizens of Washington, who stood with us to defend freedom!
Join me for a telephone town hall meeting, Wednesday, March 20 – 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Toll-free: 1-877-229-8493 – PIN 15550
This is a critical time for me to hear from you. Very soon, we will be taking final votes on bills which could have extensive impacts to the state and the 4th District. I want to know what's on your mind. So that's why I am holding a telephone town hall meeting on Wednesday to talk with citizens throughout the 4th District. I invite you to participate. Call the toll-free number: 1-877-229-8493 and enter PIN 15550. When you get on line, you can listen, or you may ask a question by pressing *3 (Star three) on your telephone keypad. I look forward to your call!
FREEDOM AGENDA MEASURE PASSES HOUSE (From bill to amendment) – House Bill 1430
“Save Our Homes”
In January, I introduced House Bill 1430 to prevent local government from taking advantage of homeowners in distress. The measure would require the county treasurer to accept partial payments on property taxes and for delinquent taxes, including interest and penalties, if the payment is made electronically. The measure was referred to the House Finance Committee, but the chair would not allow a hearing. So when a Democrat-sponsored property tax payment measure (House Bill 1004 ) came to the floor, I introduced Amendment 249, which placed the language of House Bill 1430 into that legislation. The amendment was adopted, and this component of our Freedom Agenda passed the House unanimously.
Bills 'Dead and Alive'
We're past the halfway point of the 105-day regular session, which is scheduled to adjourn April 28. Last Wednesday, March 13, was the floor cutoff, which means that House policy bills that did not pass the House by that day are considered “dead” for the session. Here's a current list of top “Dead and Alive” bills of the 2013 legislative session
This week's 'Bad Bill'
In each e-mail update throughout the session, I will be featuring a “Bad Bill.” Here is another anti-freedom, job-killing measure:
HOUSE BILL 1313 – would mandate that employers provide sick and safe leave to their employees. This is a statewide expansion of what was done in the City of Seattle. It would place a huge financial burden on employers, who would be forced to reduce the overall benefits of employees or make job cuts. See what the Seattle Chamber of Commerce says about Seattle's ordinance.
I join with many of my Eastern Washington Republican colleagues who are very concerned with the Seattle law, which says that even if your company is based somewhere else in the state, such as Moses Lake, Wenatchee or Mead, and you have employees that must work within the city of Seattle, the ordinance also applies to you. That means truck drivers who deliver goods to the Port of Seattle from other places around the state and any other employer whose employees must do business in the city of Seattle. We believe that is wrong.
Fortunately, the Senate has passed a measure, Senate Bill 5726, which would limit the city of Seattle's ability to force employers outside of its jurisdiction to provide this onerous, job-killing mandate. That bill is currently in the House Labor and Workforce Development Committee. In the meantime, House Bill 1313, the expansion of this mandate, is in the House Rules Committee, hopefully where it will die as one of the bad bills of this year's legislative session.