Good House Republican bills

2019 legislative session • March 8, 2019 

The Current -- 2017 legislative session

Dear Friend:  

We just passed the midway point of the 105-day legislative session. In the House, we spent the entire week on the floor voting on bills -- including some late nights. We will be back on the floor tomorrow morning.

While many bills have passed with bipartisan support, others have not. House Republicans have voted against several measures this week -- including ones that would disenfranchise voters, hurt small businesses and allow government greater control of our state health care system. I talk about some of these issues in my weekly video update, taped earlier today. 

I'm really proud of our team. We have worked long hours this week -- discussing and debating several bills and amendments. It's not easy when you know you're going to lose the vote. Despite these inevitable outcomes, everyone continues to fight for their values and communities.

The week ahead

Here's a look at the week ahead. The House will be on floor through Wednesday, with house of origin cutoff at 5:00 p.m. that day. We will then transition to mostly committee work on Thursday and Friday. 

This email update and our social media platforms will continue to share information on what's happening in your Legislature. Thank you for your continued interest. 


Rep. J.T. Wilcox
House Republican Leader
(360) 786-7912

Changing our presidential primary | Senate Bill 5273

A bill that will change our state's presidential primary is headed to the governor's desk. Senate Bill 5273 will move the presidential primary from late May to the second Tuesday in March. That's a good thing.

However, House Republicans united against the legislation and voted "no" because it will continue to require presidential primary voters to check a box that says Republican or Democrat. This is unfair and will discourage many voters from participating.

We believe everyone should be able to vote in the presidential primary -- without having to identify with one of two political parties. Our striking amendment, rejected by Democrats, would have allowed voters to not affiliate with a party. 

A columnist for the Seattle Times, Danny Westneat, explained other concerns with the bill in his recent column: ‘Highway robbery’: How our presidential primary is also a marketing scheme, run through your ballot. In the piece, former Secretary of State Ralph Munro estimates the new system could depress turnout by 500,000 to one million voters.

Rep. Jim Walsh shares his concerns with the bill in this video, which includes some House Republican floor speeches.

Good House Republican bills that died

Last week, we featured bad bills sponsored by Democrats. This week, we highlight good bills sponsored by Republicans that Democrats have prevented from advancing:  

Preventing a local income tax
House Bill 1588 would prevent local governments from imposing an income tax on an individual's or household's income. Learn more. (Rep. Brandon Vick)

Lowering car tabs
House Bill 2021 would lower car tabs by reforming the motor vehicle excise tax formula. (Rep. Kelly Chambers)

Electing Sound Transit board members
House Bill 1956 would require members of Sound Transit's Board of Directors to be elected as opposed to appointed. (Rep. Kelly Chambers)

Protecting children
House Bill 1235 would make it a crime to show harmful materials to a minor. (Rep. Dan Griffey)

House Bill 1635 would require public libraries to adopt Internet safety policies to address minor access to harmful material. Learn more. (Rep. Michelle Caldier)

Enhancing school safety
House Bill 1035 would provide every public school in the state with funding to employ a full-time school resource officer. Learn more. (Rep. Jim Walsh)

House Bill 1507 would promote physical safety and security of school buildings, grounds and surroundings through environmental design principles. Learn more. (Rep. Jim Walsh)

Providing rural broadband
House Bill 1606 would designate the Community Economic Revitalization Board as the agency to appropriate loans/grants to any local government or federally-recognized tribe for the development of broadband in underserved areas. Learn more. (Rep. Mary Dye)

Using tax dollars wisely  
House Bill 1021 would create an account in which private contributions could be made to offset the extra protection and security costs incurred when the governor's travel is not related to state business. Learn more. (Rep. Jim Walsh)

Holding state agencies accountable  
House Bill 1052 would give elected representatives more oversight in the rule-making process. Learn more. (Rep. Jim Walsh)

Creating affordable housing
House Bill 2011 would direct the Department of Commerce to collect the final cost data for affordable housing developments and make recommendations on ways to improve efficiency and lower costs. Learn more. (Rep. Chris Gildon)

Reducing daycare costs
House Bill 1378 would help reduce costs associated with daycare by giving child care providers more options when it comes to required education standards. Learn more. (Rep. Bob McCaslin)

Good House Republican bills that passed

Griffey bill to eliminate, extend statute of limitations for multiple sex crimes passes House 

House approves Kraft bill to increase fines against sex traffickers 

House passes Rep. Graham’s PTSD bill for firefighters and others 

Van Werven legislation addressing textbook costs for community and technical colleges passes House 

A series of Mosbrucker domestic violence bills pass state House of Representatives

House approves Mosbrucker bill to further investigations of missing and murdered indigenous people 

House unanimously approves Mosbrucker’s bill to expand state law against animal blood fighting 

House passes Dent legislation related to childcare requirements and traumatic brain injury screening 

Caldier bill allowing remote concealed pistol license renewal for deployed military gains House approval 

House approves Caldier patient safety bill 

House passes MacEwen bill to delink standardized tests from graduation 

House passes Barkis legislation aimed at landlord-tenant reform 

Rep. Alex Ybarra’s bill addressing basic skills assessment for teacher preparation programs unanimously approved by House 

House approves Chambers’ first bill, which would provide cost savings to local governments 

House unanimously passes Stokesbary’s cyber harassment legislation 

Hoff bill to create short form death certificate unanimously approved by House 

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