A Plan for Statewide Prosperity

2018 legislative session • January 26, 2018 

The Current -- 2017 legislative session

Dear Friend:  

After an eventful second week of session, state lawmakers spent less time on the floor this week and resumed their committee work with an eye toward policy committee cutoff on February 2. We're seeing several bills move through House committees, which will ultimately mean a lot of floor action in the upcoming weeks.

With no Republican backstop in the Senate now, we expect to see controversial bills pass out of the House and come over from the Senate. When they do, you can be assured that we will oppose them and offer alternative solutions in the process. That is the role of an effective minority party. Stay tuned!  

A Plan for Statewide Prosperity 

Our caucus consists of 48 independently elected state lawmakers. Our legislative priorities are shaped by our personal values and the needs of the people and communities we represent. The votes we take are influenced by these factors. 

Each year, we ask ourselves: What are the priorities that unite us as a caucus? The process began late last summer, continued throughout the fall and culminated just before session started. The end product was our Plan for Statewide Prosperity. Five elements of our step-by-step plan include:

  • A first-class education for a worldwide job market.
  • A healthy economy that works for all Washington families – urban and rural.
  • Protect and empower the most vulnerable.
  • Strong families and safe neighborhoods.
  • A safe, affordable and effective transportation system.

Please take a look at our plan and let us know what you think. You can learn more about two of our priority bills below.     

March for Life

One of the great things about the session is all of the groups that come to Olympia to meet with state lawmakers, advocate for their issues and rally on the Capitol steps.

One of the biggest gatherings each year is March for Life. This year, pro-life advocates from across our state visited the Capitol on Monday. The media estimated the event drew 5,000 people. It was great to see their passion and hear their messages. Several of our members attended the rally. 
In your service,

Rep. Dan Kristiansen
House Republican Leader
(360) 786-7967

Rep. Matt Shea

Leadership Podcast: Rep. Matt Shea 

Members of our Leadership team have started a podcast. The podcast includes informal conversations and insights on what it's like to be a state representative and the key issues of the session.

This week, Caucus Chair Matt Shea of Spokane Valley discussed his leadership role, what it's like in the caucus room, remote testimony and priorities for the session. You can listen to the podcast here.

Meaningful car-tab relief

The House passed House Bill 2201 on Wednesday. The measure would provide minor financial relief to those in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties who are experiencing sticker shock from their car-tab bills as a result of Sound Transit 3's motor vehicle excise tax.  

Unfortunately, it's not enough. It isn't real relief.

We offered amendments last year, and continue to support legislation this year, that would provide more meaningful car-tab relief to people in these counties. To date, the majority party has rejected our alternative solutions

This problem is causing financial hardship for many individuals and families. It's so bad that there's actually a bill that would allow for payment plans. Meanwhile, Sound Transit spent $858,000 on a party and has projects that are already way over budget.  

Rep. Dick Muri of Steilacoom pointed out in the floor debate that Sound Transit 3 will also impose higher property and sales taxes in these counties. Many struggling families, including those on fixed incomes, simply cannot afford all of these new taxes.      

Preventing school violence and bullying

Rep. Matt Manweller of Ellensburg has introduced legislation with the goal of preventing school violence and bullying.

House Bill 2442, which received a hearing in the House Education Committee on January 16, would create the Students Protecting Students Program. The program would allow students to use a mobile app that would provide a fast, secure and anonymous method of reporting activities or the threat of activities that are inappropriate, unsafe, harmful, dangerous, unethical or illegal.

Learn more by reading this news release and watching Rep. Manweller's committee testimony from last week.

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