The Current | January 30, 2015

2015 legislative session • January 30, 2015 • 19th day  

The Current

Letter from Leadership 

Dear Friend:

It has been a busy week in the House. On Tuesday and Thursday, hearings on the governor's carbon tax legislation took place in the House Environment Committee. His controversial plan would include charging so-called "big polluters," including UW and WSU, to pay for transportation projects and other areas of state government. Despite calling it our "moral obligation," the governor did not testify on his bill. The Washington Policy Center provided some analysis on these "big polluters." 

When one of the governor's advisors was asked in a recent House Transportation Committee hearing why Snohomish County transportation projects did not seem to be a priority for the governor, she said they had not had time to fully vet a project list. Yet, the governor has been pushing a transportation tax package for two years. He even went to Snohomish County for an event in September 2013 to pitch the idea. Unfortunately, there have been some mixed messages and this has caused controversy with the governor, area state lawmakers and the Everett Herald

Supplemental operating budget 

The House passed a supplemental operating budget (2013-15) on a bipartisan 83-15 vote Thursday. The measure would help pay for: additional mental health treatment capacity; wildfires from last year; the Oso landslide; a homecare shared living lawsuit; and children's services. While not perfect, it is a pared-down version of what the governor proposed. The Senate will now have an opportunity to improve the House's work. You can find our news release here.

Joel's Law

Prior to passing the budget, the House passed House Bill 1258, also known as Joel's Law, unanimously. The legislation would allow family members to request court review under the state's Involuntary Treatment Act. This is an important issue that spans mental health and public safety.

Reps. Jay Rodne and Tom Dent provided House floor speeches. You can learn more in this article.

Honoring the National Guard

We honored the National Guard through House Resolution 4604 today. Reps. Dan Griffey and Linda Kochmar provided our speeches. It is always a special day when we pause to honor the men and women of our Armed Services.

Have a fun and safe Super Bowl weekend. Go Hawks!

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

Rep. Michelle Caldier

Is there a doctor in the House?

As a matter of fact, there is. New Washington House Republican Rep. Michelle Caldier is a dentist and graduate of the University of Washington School of Dentistry. Her practice serves nursing homes in the Puget Sound area and she has donated thousands of hours to caring for the underserved. Learn more about Dr. Caldier here.


An extra seat on Finance

Rep. Brandon Vick

The House adopted permanent rules Thursday. This resulted in Washington House Republicans being provided an extra seat on the House Finance Committee. Rep. Brandon Vick received the appointment. The committee now consists of nine Democrats and seven Republicans. You can learn more here.


Solutions in focus: Expedited bridge permitting  

You've heard us say "fix it before you fund it" when it comes to our transportation system. That means enacting reforms that ensure accountability and help maximize your gas-tax dollars. While the secretary of WSDOT does not seem to think any reforms are necessary in our transportation system, we do.

One solution we support is House Bill 1219. Prime sponsored by Rep. Hans Zeiger and with four Democratic co-sponsors, the measure would authorize expedited permitting and contracting for state bridges deemed structurally deficient. Learn more about it in this news release.


Next week 


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