Report from Olympia

Shocking audit findings at ESD We received disturbing news from our state auditor’s office last week: its findings in an audit of the state Employment Security Department. It now appears that ESD downplayed the extent of the unemployment-insurance fraud it allowed, and repeatedly failed to properly respond to Washingtonians who needed the agency to deliver... Read More...
A victory for the culture of life! Sometimes, the bills that survive the deadlines are not the best indicator of our state’s values – instead, you look at what fails to gain enough support to move forward. An example is the life-affirming defeat of legislation that would have expanded access to assisted suicide in our state. Due... Read More...
Government on steroids State government has never seemed to grow so much, so quickly. Last week, the House and Senate majorities adopted budgets that would spend record amounts of money. Besides draining the rainy-day fund, burning through billions in federal relief dollars, and exhausting enormous budget surpluses, they STILL raise taxes! This is... Read More...
Enough is never enough for tax-and-spend crowd Because state government operates on a two-year budget cycle, new operating, transportation and capital budgets must be approved during the 2021 session. Last week, the majority released its three budget proposals, and to the surprise of few the operating-budget proposal relied on unnecessary tax hikes – even though the state... Read More...
Making the American Dream affordable Today is Day 72 of the 2021 regular session, which is scheduled to last 105 days and end on April 25. The pace of the session has picked up, with Senate bills moving (or dying) in the House, and vice versa. This week, we will see the majority propose its... Read More...
$15 billion from Uncle Sam One of the most baffling things in this session is the majority’s insistence on raising and creating new taxes. Despite predictions to the contrary, we have continued to see additional revenue come into the state. In the largest positive quarterly forecast change on record, the March forecast released yesterday increased... Read More...
Dead or Alive: Bills alive at cutoff are worst in years The 2021 legislative session is at the halfway mark. We spent the past week voting on legislation, moving toward yesterday’s 5 p.m. deadline for both chambers to pass their own bills – or they are considered off the table for the remainder of the session. …Unfortunately, the very troubling bills... Read More...
Majority’s assault on law enforcement We’ve just started the eighth week of the legislative session. We are still keeping a busy pace, with several days continuing well into the evening as we take votes on a variety of bills. Many of the measures passed so far are worthwhile and reflect the needs of our state.... Read More...
1,000 new jobs headed to Spokane Valley Last week the Legislature moved on a number of bills – some good, but unfortunately, many not so good. On February 15, Senate Bill 5438 received a hearing in the Senate labor committee. The measure would create a benefit program for illegal aliens, who are not legally authorized to work... Read More...
Making the cut In this legislative update I will tell you about some of the bills that survived this deadline, including some of my bills to help those with hearing disabilities, protect the public from repeat drunk drivers, increase affordable housing, address the nursing shortage, reform police use of force and defend the... Read More...