The Current | February 7, 2014

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The Current

An update on your citizen Legislature • February 7, 2014

12th Man

Letter from Leadership

There were a lot of tired but happy people in Olympia Monday morning after the Seahawks' resounding Super Bowl win. While most of us had to miss live coverage of the parade on Wednesday due to floor action and committee hearings, we were there in spirit. We have prepared a resolution for the Seahawks and are hopeful some of them can visit soon. 

This week included some important legislative deadlines. Wednesday was policy committee deadline. Today is policy committee cutoff. And tomorrow is the Appropriations Subcommittee deadline. What does this mean? A lot of bills died this week. Learn more here

This Tuesday, day 30 of the 60-day legislative session, will be fiscal committee cutoff. With each deadline and cutoff, state lawmakers have a better understanding of what bills will be considered in the homestretch of the legislative session. Please stay tuned. 

Have a nice weekend.  

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

In the news

"At the annual legislative summit of the Association of Washington Business in Olympia Thursday, there was no point in running an applause-meter, because there wasn’t any."

—Washington State Wire

Learn more about the responses of small business owners to Governor Inslee's speech to AWB here.

The week ahead

Want to know what's happening in the state House of Representatives next week? Find out here. You can also find a House committee schedule here.  

Obamacare headaches

Obamacare headaches persist

The problems with federal health care reform continue. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, Obamacare will force two million people out of the labor market by 2017. Learn more here.

Obamacare was supposed to provide small businesses with better deals on health insurance. It's simply not happening. According to this article, small businesses paid an average of $1,121 a month per employee for individual coverage, up from $590 in 2009 -- the year before federal health care reform was enacted.

Republicans are trying to fix some of the Obamacare problems happening at the state level. Rep. Matt Manweller and Sen. Steve O'Ban held a news conference (pictured above) Tuesday to discuss their bills that would allow Washingtonians to shop outside of the state’s health exchange to purchase high-deductible, low-premium catastrophic health insurance plans.

Senate Bill 6464 and House Bill 2221 would also allow carriers to offer health insurance plans in Washington that are exempt from state and federal requirements.

Learn more about the legislation here and here.

National Guard Day

National Guard Day

Last Friday, the state House of Representatives paused to honor the men and women of the National Guard through House Resolution 4667.

Rep. Hans Zeiger, pictured above at the National Guard lunch, is a 2nd Lt. in the National Guard.

Dead or alive?  

Want to know which bills are dead or still alive in the state House of Representatives? Find out here. This list will evolve in the upcoming weeks, but we will keep the link updated.

SMCC tries to pass two-thirds measure supported by voters five times

The Senate Majority Coalition Caucus (SMCC) attempted to pass Senate Joint Resolution 8213  Wednesday. The measure would amend the state constitution to require a two-thirds majority vote of the Legislature to raise taxes. The vote was 25-21, but unfortunately the measure needed 33 votes to pass. 

Since 1993, voters have passed five initiatives in support of the two-thirds majority vote requirement. It passed with 64 percent support as recently as 2012, including support in 44 out of 49 legislative districts.  

A similar measure has not been allowed to move forward in the state House of Representatives. 

Rep. Drew MacEwen

Join us for a telephone town hall

We've hosted ten telephone town halls since the beginning of the legislative session, including three this week. Rep. Drew MacEwen of the 35th District, pictured above, talked to constituents and answered questions on Wednesday night. Visit our newsroom to learn more about upcoming events.  

From our newsroom