The Current | November 19, 2013

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The Current

Your citizen Legislature • Washington House Republicans • November 19, 2013

Rep. Dan Kristiansen

Letter from Leadership

A lot has happened since October 18. The third special session of 2013 came to a close on November 9 following the passage of two bills aimed at assisting the aerospace industry and securing the production of Boeing’s 777X in our state. Four days later, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) rejected Boeing's contract offer. Boeing is now looking at other states for the 777X and will make a decision in the next two or three months.

State lawmakers are at the Capitol this week for committee assembly days. The annual November gathering includes committee hearings, caucus discussions and other meetings. You can find a legislative calendar here. If you want to follow the action on TVW, you can find a schedule here.

The major topic of discussion continues to be the transportation revenue package, which could raise the state gas tax by as much as 11.5 cents per gallon. We continue to believe this debate needs to start with reforms that would ensure accountability in our state transportation system. Please consider watching our transportation solutions video here.

The 60-day, 2014 legislative session will begin on January 13. Two pre-session events --the Greater Spokane Incorporated Legislative Forum on December 4 and Associated Press Legislative Forum on January 9 -- will offer a window into the months ahead. Both events will be covered by TVW. Please stay tuned. 

Have a happy Thanksgiving next week.  

In your service,
Rep. Dan Kristiansen
39th District
House Republican Leader

In the news

"Don’t let today’s vote be a final step to fixing Washington’s economic environment. Let today’s vote be a first step to helping Washington’s economic environment."

- Rep. Matt  Manweller, member of the 777X Legislative Task Force 

IAM turns down contract offer;  Boeing looks to build 777X in other states 

After the Legislature finished its work, attention turned to the IAM's contract vote with Boeing on November 13. In a vote watched closely across the country, the IAM rejected Boeing's contract offer by 67 percent.

In a question and answer document posted online the next day, Boeing said it would not re-engage the IAM on contract negotiations until 2016 and would look at other states for the production of the 777X.

This article talks about the other states interested in the 777X, including Alabama, California, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.  

Rep. Larry Crouse

Crouse to resign at year's end

Rep. Larry Crouse, R-Spokane Valley, announced last month he will resign from the Washington State House of Representatives on December 31. He is the longest-serving Washington House Republican, having been elected in November 1994. 

In a news release you can find here, Larry said: “This is the best job I’ve ever had, but it’s time. This decision is about family.”

Larry will be remembered as a statesman, gentleman and mentor. We wish him and his wife, Peggy, well in their future endeavors.  

Rep. Vincent Buys

Buys begins new committee leadership role 

Rep. Vincent Buys, R-Lynden, has been named ranking Republican of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. He replaces Rep. Bruce Chandler, R-Granger, who will become ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee later this year.

Vince comes from a farming family and represents communities in the 42nd District that rely on agriculture. He will lead a team of experienced Washington House Republicans on a committee that handles a myriad of issues -- including fisheries, forests, land use, mining, water and wildlife.

You can find his news release here.

Kreidler rejects Obamacare "fix"

Serious problems persist with Obamacare. By now, we all know President Obama's repeated promise that "if you like your health care plan you can keep it" is not in fact true.

In damage-control mode, the Obama Administration announced on November 14 that it would allow health insurance companies to sell existing plans even if they don’t meet the minimum standards set by the health care law.

This announcement was not met with open arms by Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, who released a statement the same day saying he does not believe it is a good deal for our state. Health insurers also expressed concerned that it could destabilize the market and result in higher premiums for consumers. You can learn more here.  

Rep. Drew MacEwen

Three-day special session focuses on aerospace industry

The recent special session lasted three days and produced two bills that were signed into law. 

Senate Bill 5952 would extend the expiration date of existing aerospace tax incentives from July 1, 2024 to July 1, 2040, upon the siting of a significant commercial airplane manufacturing program in Washington – including a carbon fiber wing manufacturing program. It would also expand the availability of a sales and use tax exemption for the construction of facilities used to manufacture commercial airplanes. You can find more details here.

House Bill 2088 would expand the state’s investment in aerospace education and workforce development and increase enrollment in related fields at state community and technical colleges. It would also make grant money available to local governments to assist in paying for environmental permitting activities relating to large manufacturing sites for aerospace and other key economic growth centers. You can find more information here.

The governor also pushed the Legislature to pass a transportation revenue package, which would include raising the state gas tax, but state lawmakers said “no.” However, this issue remains front and center, with hearings in the Senate on Thursday. Learn more about the proposed legislation here

Listen to our House floor speeches from the special session

Senate Bill 5952 

House Bill 2088

Rep. Jan Angel

Angel wins Senate seat 

Rep. Jan Angel, R-Port Orchard, beat incumbent Sen. Nathan Schlicher, D-Gig Harbor, in the race for the 26th District Senate seat. She won by a strong margin – 52 percent to 48 percent – in a race watched closely across the state.

Jan was first elected to the Washington State House of Representatives in 2008. She served as Kitsap County Commissioner from 2000 to 2008. Jan is ranking Republican on the House Community Development, Housing and Tribal Affairs Committee.

Wilcox discusses special session, economy on TVW

House Republican Floor Leader J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm, talked about the special session on TVW's "The Impact" -- including the aerospace industry and the need to help all economic sectors in the state. You can find the interview here.