The Current | February 20, 2015

2015 legislative session • February 20, 2015 • 40th day

The Current

Letter from Leadership 

Dear Friend: 

This week began with what is always a fun and memorable morning of each legislative session: Children's Day and President's Day. Children from across the state came to visit Monday and provided a new energy to the House chamber. Rep. Drew Stokesbary, a new father, provided our speech, while Rep. Matt Manweller, whose son is named Lincoln, provided our remarks on presidents.

This week also had a more somber tone, with a joint session Wednesday to remember former state lawmakers who passed away. We also observed a Day of Remembrance Thursday. Rep. Melanie Stambaugh provided our House floor remarks

House policy committee cutoff

Today is the first deadline of the legislative session: House policy committee cutoff. All bills must pass out of their respective House policy committees or they are generally considered dead for the legislative session, unless they are necessary to implement the budget. This means fiscal committees will be busy next week and there won't be significant House floor action. Our next deadline is House fiscal committee cutoff February 27.

Be on the lookout for our annual  "dead or alive" bill list early next week.

Senate releases transportation tax package, reforms

The Senate released its bipartisan transportation tax package last week, with leaders from both parties emphasizing the proposal is a work in progress. Aside from transportation projects, their plan includes eight major reforms (Senate Bills 5990-5997) that address critical issues such as: sales tax; the Environmental Legacy Steward Account; permitting; public works contracts; mobility; and project delivery. These measures were heard in committee Tuesday. You can learn more about the proposals in this news release

Another successful social media town hall

We held our second Facebook and Twitter town hall this legislative session Tuesday afternoon. The topic was education. Reps. Chad Magendanz, Dick Muri and Melanie Stambaugh answered 16 questions. Not all of their answers represented fully-supported caucus positions, but that's because we have a range of solutions and views for our K-12 education system. You can find their Facebook responses here, and their Twitter responses here.

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

Rep. Gina McCabe

Rep. Gina McCabe brings Klickitat County perspective to Olympia

Rep. Gina McCabe of Goldendale is a fifth-generation resident of Klickitat County and the first state lawmaker from that county since 1982. A wife, mother, grandmother and small business owner, she represents the 14th District and replaced Charles Ross. Learn more in this video.    

Rep. McCabe will be hosting a telephone town hall with her seatmate, Rep. Norm Johnson, on February 25. Find out more about the event here


Green-energy scandal in Oregon leads to Gov. Kitzhaber's resignation 

Gov. John Kitzhaber of Oregon resigned from office Wednesday in the wake of a criminal investigation into a green-energy scandal. In a statement, the governor was defiant and blamed the media for depriving him of due process. 

Recent information from Oregon has generated questions about the role of billionaire Tom Steyer in climate-change policies. Steyer, who used to invest in coal-mining companies, has tried to influence Washington elections. 

Gov. Inslee released a statement on Kitzhaber's resignation, emphasizing his leadership on health care. It should be noted Oregon's Obamacare website, Cover Oregon, was a major failure. An independent report was highly critical of the state's leadership on the project. 

This week


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