We are in day 25 of a 105-day legislative session. More than 1,500 bills have been introduced in the House and Senate in less than a month. Committees are meeting from 8 a.m. to after 5 p.m. on a daily basis throughout the week to listen to public testimony on bills the committee chair has deemed worthy to be heard.
I am pleased to report that more than 20 Freedom Agenda bills have received hearings or are scheduled for public hearings and are moving through the process. Please mark your calendar for Freedom Agenda Day at the Capitol on Feb. 10. We need your involvement and testimony on our Freedom Agenda bills. More information is below, along with an update on these bills.
I strongly encourage you to get involved! Your calls, e-mails, letters and public testimony are the reason the Freedom Agenda is the most successful slate of conservative legislation in Washington state in 20 years. Thank you for standing shoulder-to-shoulder with us as we defend the Constitution, property rights, gun ownership, veterans and the sanctity of human life while promoting lower taxes, less government and more freedom.
Contact my office any time you have questions, comments or suggestions about legislation and how you can help to further the cause of liberty.
Governor's carbon tax supporters want to eliminate fossil fuel business
As the ranking Republican on the House Environment Committee, I am leading the charge against Gov. Inslee's unnecessary, misguided and regressive cap-and-tax legislation. Under the governor's legislation, House Bill 1314, as many as 130 entities in Washington state who the governor calls “big polluters,” would be taxes for the amount of carbon produced. They would also have to purchase at auction one allowance for every metric ton of carbon they emit. The governor says this carbon tax would raise about $1 billion a year for state government.
Who are these so-called “big polluters?” In the Spokane area, they include Kaiser Aluminum, Goodrich Spokane Landing Systems, and the Wheelabrator Waste-to-Energy plant. Statewide, his list even includes the University of Washington and REC Silicon in Moses Lake, which produces green energy solar panels.
Washington already is the fourth greenest state in the nation. We remain at 1990 EPA levels of carbon, even though our population has grown by 2 million. We are on target for our 2035 goal (see the chart). Let's be frank about this proposal. It is not about cleaning Washington's air and water. It's about two things:
1. Government taking more of your hard-earned money and trying to make you feel good about it. You will be paying more for heating fuel, gasoline and anything shipped by truck.
2. Destroying the fossil fuel industry. The governor's supporters admit this. Listen for yourself what one supporter said in committee: CLICK HERE TO LISTEN.
More Freedom Agenda success stories:
House Bill 1191 requiring concealed pistol license renewal notices
The House Judiciary Committee, of which I serve as assistant ranking Republican, today passed House Bill 1191. This is a measure I co-sponsored with Rep. David Taylor that would require the Department of Licensing to notify a person of the approaching expiration date of that person's concealed pistol license.
House Bill 1552 legalizing industrial hemp
Industrial hemp is used in many ways, from hemp milk to hempcrete, which is a mold- and fire-resistant building material. Even our nation's founding fathers grew hemp.
I introduced House Bill 1552 to legalize industrial hemp in Washington and create a new industry with jobs and a positive impact on our state's economy. The measure had a hearing in the House Commerce and Gaming Committee on Jan. 26. It is scheduled to be voted out of committee on Monday.
Take action! Freedom Agenda Day – Feb. 10
This week's action item is the necessity for your testimony. We have several Freedom Agenda bills under consideration. Your input could make a difference of whether they pass or get bottled up in a committee. Please see the list below. Then call my office at (360) 786-7984 to get more information about testifying on a bill. Or you can e-mail the committee chair with your support. I've listed their e-mail addresses below.
- House Bill 1204 – Limiting the enforcement of policies of the department of ecology. (Scott)
- House Bill 1209– Concerning proceedings of the joint administrative rules review committee. (Scott)
- House Bill 1235 – Making non-substantive changes to procurement law. (Holy)
- House Bill 1371 – Regarding administrative procedures that promote accountability, transparency, and economic relief. (Taylor)
- House Bill 1375 – Concerning criminal trespass on private property. (Taylor)
- House Bill 1858 – Prohibiting the names of county auditors and the secretary of state from being included on ballot envelopes and in voters' pamphlets when running for reelection. (Shea)
- House Bill 1374 – Requiring disclosure of specified contract information by state and local agencies. (Taylor)
This week's BAD BILL
House Bill 1692 – The Imitation Firearm Manufacturing Requirement Act – This is one of the many bad bills of the 2015 legislative session which would only allow individuals to own or possess a “look alike” firearm if it is painted with white, or bright colors of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, pink, purple or a mixture of those colors. The measure is in the House Judiciary Committee and, as the assistant ranking member of that committee, I'm working to make sure it dies there.