Report from Olympia

Victory in case to protect your right of initiative Our legislative session is over, but we are still dealing with its aftermath. One of the most troubling things we saw this year was the new majority’s disregard for the rules and procedures laid out by the state constitution. I was among the parties to a lawsuit challenging the Legislature’s... Read More...
Public-safety bills becoming laws A week ago I traveled to Olympia for the signing of two bills I sponsored. One bill concerned the use of body cameras for law enforcement and the other dealt with pretrial release conditions that trial court judges may impose. There are additional details about both bills later in this... Read More...
Back in the Valley again The 2018 legislative session is over. The 60-day session ended on time and with the most bills (317) passed since 2008. Of course, as you know, quantity does not always equal quality, and that was certainly not the case this year. If I could sum up this session in one... Read More...
They’re raiding the state rainy day fund! Majority is using a “felony budget gimmick,” which the State Treasurer calls a “dangerous precedent” and has urged the Legislature to reject. We received some particularly alarming news late last night, when the Senate majority unveiled a last-minute, secret plan to do an “end run” around the state constitution in order to... Read More...
Wrapping up the 2018 Session We have just two more days to wrap up our work for this year’s regular session. Friday was the final “cut-off” to approve bills that originated in the House of Representatives. Final votes are still ahead on the budget and bills that are necessary to implement the budget, which are... Read More...
A frosty reception for ‘partial’ property tax relief We are now less than two weeks away from the end of the 60-day legislative session. The Senate approved its supplemental budget proposal late last week, and the House passed its corresponding budget last night. The Senate proposal did not receive a single vote from our side of the aisle –... Read More...
2.4 billion more reasons to cut taxes On Thursday we received an updated revenue forecast, and projected revenue is much higher than expected – to the point that many described it as “raining money in Olympia.” When the numbers are all added up, budget writers now expect (over the next three years) to have more than $2.4... Read More...
Bills – good and bad – flying off the floor Week five was spent on the Senate floor voting on bills previously approved by their assigned committees. Below I highlight several good bills that are still in play, so please keep reading. Tomorrow is the final day for us to consider “house of origin” bills; in other words, it’s the... Read More...
Survivor Olympia: Cut off deadline for policy bills The 2018 Legislature has completed its fourth week; there are five weeks to go. On Friday we reached an important deadline for bills to pass policy (non-fiscal) committees if they are to move forward. I continue to be concerned about the new Senate majority’s focus on passing controversial bills that... Read More...
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