The Current | April 5, 2013

The Current

Your citizen Legislature • Washington House Republicans • April 5, 2013

Rep. Elizabeth Scott

Letter from Leadership

This is my first legislative session and it is hard to believe how quickly it has gone. After a quiet beginning to the week, action in the Legislature picked up on Wednesday with House floor action and the release of operating and transportation budgets by the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus. You can find more information on these budgets in the far right column.

While a lot of serious decisions are being made in the Legislature and lines are being drawn on important issues, it hasn't polarized state lawmakers. In fact, camaraderie is stronger than you might think in Olympia. Earlier in the week, we held an "Odd Couples Dinner" where Republicans and Democrats enjoyed dinner with one another. Last night, we had a "Legislative Shootout" that included state lawmakers from both sides of the aisle shooting rifles, hand guns and shotguns. That was a lot of fun. There was also a House vs. Senate basketball game last night. The Senate team, which included the governor, won.

We will keep you updated these last few weeks of the legislative session. As always, we welcome your input and questions.

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Rep. Elizabeth Scott
39th District
Assistant Whip

In the news

"I have to believe the people I serve and our constituents statewide will see the proposed Senate budget as a responsible approach to increasing support for the priorities of state government without slowing the state’s slow but gradual economic recovery."

—Sen. Mark Schoesler,
Senate Republican Leader April 3, 2013 

Gov. Jay Inslee

Governor Jay Inslee visited the House Republican Caucus for the first time on Monday to discuss, among other things, his love for President Abraham Lincoln


There are so many great images from the Capitol each week. Each one carries a story. Click on the pictures below to learn about the stories behind them. 

Rep. Jan Angel Rep. David Taylor Rep. Norm Johnson

The Current  

Did you know? 

According to Governing Magazine, Washington state ranks:

  • 23rd in the nation for business friendliness;
  • 11th for the ease of starting a business;  
  • 33rd for regulatory friendliness;
  • 36th for employment, labor and hiring; and
  • 24th for licensing regulations.

You can find the article here. You can find our solutions for the economy here.

Senate Majority Coalition Caucus releases operating budget 

The Senate Majority Coalition Caucus (SMCC) released its bipartisan operating budget on Wednesday. In a news conference led by Sen. Andy Hill of the 45th District, the group outlined a plan that would reform and make new investments in K-12 education, fund other important priorities and make state government more efficient. It would not rely on new tax increases -- something  Governor Jay Inslee proposed last week. You can learn more about the SMCC's operating budget here.

Our ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Gary Alexander, has been working closely with the SMCC on its plan. While it is not exactly how House Republicans would write the operating budget if given the opportunity, the SMCC's initial approach represents  many of our principles and priorities for the state. It is an important first step and demonstrates how our state can prioritize K-12 education and balance the budget without raising taxes. 

You can find Rep. Alexander's statement on the SMCC's operating budget here.

The House Democrats plan to release their operating budget next week.

Transportation budget, too 

The SMCC also released its bipartisan transportation budget on Wednesday. The $8.7 billion plan would dedicate $5.3 billion to capital construction and $3.4 billion to operating costs and debt service. You can find an article on it here.

Rep. Terry Nealey

The debate on tax incentives

An important element of the operating budget debate is tax incentives. Rep. Terry Nealey, ranking Republican on the House Finance Committee, discussed this issue on Inside Olympia with Austin Jenkins last week. You can find the video here

The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee (JLARC) is referenced in this video. This committee works to make state government more effective, efficient and accountable by conducting performance audits, program evaluations, sunset reviews, and other analyses. To learn more about JLARC, click here.

The Citizen Commission for Performance Measurement of Tax Preferences is also discussed. This commission was established by the Legislature in 2006. To find more information, click here.