Addressing our state's opioid crisis

2018 legislative session • February 9, 2018 

The Current -- 2017 legislative session

Dear Friend:  

We are officially past the midway point of the 2018 session. Tuesday was day 30 and fiscal committee cutoff. While many bills survived this cutoff, most died. This deadline provides state lawmakers and the public a smaller universe of legislation to consider and monitor over the last half of the session. 

The House saw a lot of floor action the last three days, including working into some evenings. We will continue to spend a significant amount of time on the floor until February 14 -- house of origin cutoff. This also means that state lawmakers will spend hours in caucus vetting bills and amendments.

This website shows all of the bills that have passed out of the House this year, to date.

Senate advances version of governor's energy tax

On the other side of the rotunda, the Senate is also busy. The Senate Energy, Environment and Technology Committee passed a version of the governor's controversial energy tax last week with no Republican support. The legislation, Senate Bill 6203, would create a new carbon pollution tax. It's now in the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

The governor's staff admitted that his proposal would increase the costs of gas, natural gas and energy bills for consumers. We also know it would have no measurable benefits for our state's environment. In our media availability on Tuesday, Sen. Doug Ericksen explained these and other problems with the bill. You can watch the short clip here.  

Reducing carbon emissions without adding tax burdens 

Our state can reduce carbon emissions without adding tax burdens on individuals and families. Two examples include better managing our public forests, which burn out of control and emit carbon during wildfires, and addressing traffic congestion in the Puget Sound region. 

Our state should also incentivize employers to promote renewable energy and carbon reduction investments. We have put a solution on the table that would do this. The measure, sponsored by Rep. Richard DeBolt, passed out of the House Technology and Economic Development Committee and remains alive in the legislative process. Please stay tuned.

Contact us

As always, I welcome your feedback. Please don't hesitate to contact me or anyone in our caucus with your questions, comments or concerns. We look forward to hearing from you.

In your service,

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

Addressing our state's opioid crisis

Like the rest of the country, our state is facing an opioid crisis. Heroin abuse, in particular, is a serious problem in many of our communities. The stories we hear from parents, police officers and firefighters are sad and startling.

This problem must be addressed in a comprehensive way. It's not just about helping people break the grip of addiction; it's also about helping them rebuild their lives.

Creating a diversion center pilot project

Rep. Dave Hayes, a sergeant with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, has seen this crisis up close. He introduced bipartisan legislation that would create a diversion center pilot project. If successful, it could be a model for fighting opioid addiction across our state.

House Bill 2287 advanced out of the House Public Safety Committee on January 18, and passed off the House floor 98-0 on Thursday.   

Rep. Hayes discussed this issue and his bill with Austin Jenkins of TVW's Inside Olympia. You can watch the segment here.

Warning patients about the risks of opioid use

Rep. Gina McCabe of Goldendale also proposed bipartisan legislation that would help prevent opioid addiction.

House Bill 2447, Jeremy’s Law, would require doctors to warn patients about the risks of opioid use. It received a public hearing in the House Health Care and Wellness Committee on January 19. While the measure did not advance out of the committee, its concepts were incorporated into omnibus opioid legislation that passed off the House floor 98-0 today. 

You can learn more about House Bill 2447 and Jeremy Wolfe in this news release

Rep. Joel Kretz

Rep. Joel Kretz joins our Leadership Podcast

Deputy Leader Joel Kretz of Wauconda joined our Leadership Podcast this week. He discussed a wide range of issues, including being deputy leader, perceptions of Olympia, wolves, wildfires, and the importance of public involvement in the Legislature.     

House Republican solutions in the news

Republican lawmaker believes he has answer to the opioid epidemic (MyNorthwest)

Republicans in Olympia continue their push to cut Sound Transit car-tab taxes (The Seattle Times)

GOP renews push to reform ‘out of control’ Sound Transit (The Everett Herald)

Property owners might get relief from tax they didn’t vote on (The Everett Herald)

Republican lawmaker proposes relief bill (MyNorthwest)

School reporting bill clears state house committee (Columbia Basin Herald)

House Republicans push for remote testimony (Columbia Basin Herald)

Bill intended to get testing info to rape survivors faster (The Spokesman-Review)

GOP pushes for transparency in governor’s office after Inslee’s climate adviser draws scrutiny (The News Tribune)

Will this be the year state gets law to help kids report sex abuse? (KOMO News)

Bill to protect minor-aged college students from sex offenders considered in state House (The Chronicle)

Kraft bill aims to update ‘outdated’ small business rules (The Reflector)

Bill would make lying to Legislature illegal for state employees (The Chronicle)

Walsh bill would direct part of weed tax to public defender costs (The Daily World)

Dye proposed legislation to expand rural broadband access (Washington Ag Network)

Wilcox legislation looks to address suicide in Washington ag community (Washington Ag Network/KONA Radio) 

Bill to help Washington state victims of credit report data breaches to get hearing in Olympia (Sky Valley Chronicle) 

Our social media

Get involved

Connect with us

Learn more

Washington State House Republicans