It didn't take long once the 2016 legislative session began on Jan. 11 before new attacks were launched from the left against your constitutional right to keep and bear arms, against your right to privacy, and against taxpayers across our state.
My Freedom Agenda colleagues and I are fighting hard in Olympia to defend against these attacks and to ensure lower taxes, less government and more freedom. This e-newsletter update provides a brief look at the first two weeks of the 2016 legislative session and how you can get involved between now and the scheduled end of the session on March 11 to help protect against the leftist erosion of our freedoms.
Please contact my office with your questions, comments and suggestions. And be sure to get involved with my “Action Bill” item below.
The attack against our second amendment rights
Numerous bills have been introduced in the 2016 Legislature which seek to outlaw and destroy your right to keep and bear arms as a law-abiding citizen. Over the past week, public hearings have been held in the House Judiciary Committee on a number of gun control measures. Here's a sampling of these destructive bills designed to whittle away your gun rights:
- House Bill 1747 – Would create the crime of child endangerment due to unsafe storage of a firearm.
- House Bill 2461 – Would establish extreme risk protection orders to temporarily prevent an individual from possessing, accessing, or purchasing firearms while that individual poses a significant danger of harm.
- House Bill 2372 – Would allow for the destruction of forfeited firearms.
- House Bill 2460 – Authorizes cities, towns, counties, and other municipalities to restrict firearm possession in any parks, recreational facilities, libraries and public transportation.
As the assistant ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, I am taking every opportunity to challenge these measures that target law-abiding citizens. I recommend you download this list of gun-related bills — good and bad — and become involved with letting your state lawmakers know where you stand on each of them. Together, we can protect the gun rights of law-abiding citizens.
The attack against our right to privacy
In December, the Washington Human Rights Commission granted transgender individuals access to the restroom of their choice. The decision makes it illegal for schools and businesses with eight or more employees to bar a man from entering a women's restroom, and vice-versa. It also affects showers, locker rooms and saunas
I am very concerned that there are some people who could take advantage of this rule and put public safety at risk. In response, I have co-sponsored legislation, House Bill 2589, to correct this egregious decision. The measure would allow a public or private entity to limit access to private facilities segregated by gender if an individual is pre-operative or non-operative. There would be no restriction on individuals who are post operative.
The attack against taxpayers
Six times since 1993, voters have approved a policy of a supermajority (two-thirds of the Legislature) for tax increases. The latest was when voters approved Initiative 1366 in November. The measure said the Legislature must send a constitutional amendment to the November 2016 ballot that would allow voters to decide whether a supermajority is required in the Legislature to raise taxes or via a simple majority of voters. The initiative also provided that if such a constitutional amendment was not sent to the ballot by April 15, the state sales tax would be reduced by 1 percent.
The initiative was immediately challenged by a group that included two Democrat legislators, and last week, a King County Court ruled the measure as unconstitutional.
In response, I co-sponsored House Joint Resolution 4215, a measure that would send to voters an amendment to the state constitution that would require a two-thirds majority vote of the Legislature to raise taxes.
Yesterday, through a procedural motion on the House floor, my House Republican colleagues tried to place HJR 4215 on the Second Reading Floor Calendar in an attempt to force a full House vote on the legislation. The motion failed, 48-49, with Democrats blocking the effort.
It's disappointing, but not surprising, that Democrats in the House continue to thwart the will of the people. That's why it is important that citizens like yourself join with us to advance the Freedom Agenda and fight for lower taxes, less government and more freedom!
Standing up for life
Last Tuesday, I was proud to stand with thousands of people who marched to the steps of the state Capitol to say “all life matters — especially the life of the unborn.” It was the March for Life Rally held each year to protest the U.S. Supreme Court Roe V Wade decision which legalized abortion in the United States in 1973. Since then, nearly 50 million abortions have been performed in the U.S. — appalling figures!
If we get the life issue wrong, we get EVERY issue wrong. I brought a special message to the group. Rep. David Taylor and I have introduced House Bill 2294 that would restrict public funding of abortion unless the procedure is determined to be medically necessary. This measure would also de-fund Planned Parenthood in Washington state. It's time to stop those who would use your tax dollars to end life.
ACTION BILL – Let's move the industrial hemp bill!
We only have until Feb. 5 to move House Bill 1552 out of the House Appropriations Committee. This is the bill that would legalize industrial hemp in Washington state. Industrial hemp is used in many ways, from hemp milk to hempcrete, which is a mold- and fire-resistant building material. Legalizing it would create an entire new industry filled with jobs.
Please call House Appropriations Chairman Rep. Hans Dunshee and ask him to bring up House Bill 1552 for a vote. You can reach Rep. Hunter at (360) 786-7804 or via e-mail at: email@example.com.
Bad bill – House Bill 2354 – Banning 'assault weapons' in Washington state
This bill tops the bad gun control measures of the 2016 session. Sponsored by Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, the bill's definition of an assault weapon also includes any semiautomatic pistol “that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine.” We're not just talking AK-47 rifles. This bill is so expansive that it would prohibit a semiautomatic pistol, rifle, centerfire or rimfire rifle with a fixed magazine that has the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
The measure has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee. So far, it has not received a hearing. I will fight to make sure this bad bill does not see the light of day in committee.