The Current | Feb. 1, 2013

The Current

 Your citizen Legislature • Washington House Republicans • Feb. 1, 2013

Rep. Shelly Short

Letter from Leadership

It's hard to believe we are now on day 19 of the legislative session. 

This week concluded with an effort by House Republicans to amend House rules in ways that would protect taxpayers, prioritize education funding and ensure citizens have a stronger voice in Olympia. You can learn more by reading, "How new House rules could help your household." 

Please read my last e-mail update to learn more about how you can stay connected to your citizen Legislature.

Also, just a reminder that you can find us on Facebook here.

Have a great weekend!

Rep. Shelly Short
7th District
Vice-Caucus Chair

In the news

Highlights from The Capitol Buzz this week:

Poll results

In early December, we asked on our Web site: What is the most important issue for the Legislature to address immediately? The top four responses from 154 people are below.

29.9% | Size of government
22.7% | Education funding
18.2% | Cost of higher education tuition 
16.2% | Unemployment and regulations

Please visit our Web site to take another survey.

"Fund Education First would fully fund K-12 education first, in a separate budget passed before any other appropriations and within existing revenues. This solution would demonstrate to the court we are taking the matter of following the state constitution and the McCleary ruling seriously."

Reps. Cathy Dahlquist and Gary Alexander
The News Tribune
Jan. 29, 2013 

Rep. Norma Smith

Accountability in the state ferry system

Rep. Norma Smith, R-Clinton, represents the 10th District and communities that rely on the state ferry system. She recently led a bipartisan effort in asking State Auditor Troy Kelley to audit the Washington State Ferries in relation to the three new 64-car ferries.

The state lawmakers want to determine the true post-delivery cost of design and construction decisions on the Kwa-di Tabil class vessels. To read their letter, click here.

To view Smith's news release, visit here.

The week ahead

How new House rules could help your household

The Washington State House of Representatives adopted its rules for the legislative session today. House Republicans offered four amendments to the rules that would have:  

  • placed into House rules the two-thirds vote requirement of the Legislature to raise taxes (I-1185);
  • prioritized K-12 education funding through Fund Education First;
  • allowed each state representative to have one bill that would receive a House committee hearing; and
  • prioritized citizen testimony in House committee hearings.

House Democrats adopted a version of our citizen testimony first idea, but rejected the other three.

Click here to read why we believe these rules are important to families and communities. You can also find our news release here.

Reps. on the House floor

Reps. Elizabeth Scott, R-Monroe, Liz Pike, R-Camas, and Linda Kochmar, R-Federal Way, talk on the House floor. 

Did you know?

  • There are 281 incorporated cities and towns in Washington state.
  • More than 2,000 city elected officials represent over four million residents.
  • Cities employ more than 35,000 people statewide.
  • Washington state has seven cities with more than 100,000 people, and 80 cities with less than 1,000 people. 

Source: Association of Washington's Cities.