The Current | October 18, 2013

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Bookmark and Share

The Current

Your citizen Legislature • Washington House Republicans • October 18, 2013

Letter from Leadership

We are saddened to learn of the passing of former Speaker of the House Tom Foley. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. You can learn more about Mr. Foley's life here.

It has been a busy month for Washington House Republicans. Like many of you, we are concerned with what is happening in Washington, D.C. and have been hearing from constituents who are upset.

At the state level, the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus concluded its transportation feedback forums, which included some of our members. The Climate Legislative Executive Workgroup is continuing its work, with a recent public meeting in Spokane and an upcoming event in Seattle. The new 777X Legislative Task Force held its first meeting on October 2. Finally, the September state economic and revenue forecast revealed our state revenue situation is improving, but our economic recovery remains fragile.

State lawmakers are also preparing for committee assembly days November 21-22. It is still unclear if Governor Inslee will call a special session in an attempt to pass a transportation revenue package and raise the state gas tax. Please consider sharing your views by taking this transportation survey

You can also e-mail us at:

Have a nice weekend.

In your service,
Rep. Dan Kristiansen
39th District
House Republican Leader

In the news

“The budget is about more than just numbers – it impacts our families and communities for years to come.” 

— Rep. Bruce Chandler

Rep. Elizabeth Scott

A story of courage and strength

The collective wisdom of a citizen Legislature is the individual perspectives of its members. Each state lawmaker brings personal experiences to the legislative process that often prove to be invaluable.

Sometimes these experiences include strength in times of adversity. This includes Rep. Elizabeth Scott, R-Monroe, whose past includes courage in the face of abuse. She recently shared her story with attendees of the Hope Within fundraiser for Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County. You can learn more about it here.  

You can find a bio we featured on Rep. Scott on March 15 here.

Kim Wyman

Kim Wyman discusses voter rolls on TVW

Secretary of State Kim Wyman went on TVW's Inside Olympia last month to discuss the state's efforts to clean up voter rolls. Find out what ERIC stands for by watching her interview here.

Just the facts on two statewide ballot measures   

The Current is considered a state resource. State lawmakers cannot use state resources or time to advocate for anything, or anyone, on a ballot. However, we can use this communications piece to simply provide you the facts on statewide ballot measures. 

If you'd like to know the facts about two statewide ballot measures, I-517 and I-522, click here.


October is National Apple Month

In addition to the apple being our state fruit, Washington ranks #1 in the nation for apple production. Learn more about our state's agricultural rankings here.

Part of our state's history with apples includes Aplets & Cotlets. Rep. Brad Hawkins, R-East Wenatchee, recently shared his insight on this famous treat on our website.

Rep. Bruce Chandler

Chandler to lead House Republicans on Appropriations Committee

Rep. Bruce Chandler, R-Granger, will replace Rep. Gary Alexander, R-Olympia, as ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee. The committee considers the operating budget, fiscal issues such as pension policy and compensation, and bills with large fiscal impacts.

The change will be effective when Rep. Alexander steps down as state representative later this year. 

You can find our news release announcing this change here. You can also find an article from the Bellingham Herald here.

Feddback Forum

Transportation survey 

As you may know from the last edition of The Current, the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus has been hosting transportation feedback forums to  provide citizens a platform to discuss a proposed transportation revenue package. Pictured above  are Reps. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama, and Paul Harris, R-Vancouver, at the Vancouver event. 

We have been clear on this issue: A debate on the transportation revenue package must begin with reforms that ensure accountability and the responsible use of gas tax dollars in our state transportation system. There also needs to be an understanding that many individuals and families cannot afford to pay more at the pump.  

We want to hear from you. Please consider taking this transportation survey. We appreciate your time and insight. 

Operating budget ... surplus?  

For the first time in six years, our state has a projected operating budget surplus. The September state economic and revenue forecast showed a projected $345 million surplus for the 2013-15 budget cycle.

The question is: What should the Legislature do with this extra revenue?

We believe state lawmakers should be fiscally responsible. This includes putting money aside in preparation for another economic downturn. Our state should also dedicate some of this revenue to K-12 education – to satisfy the clear mandate from Article IX of our state constitution. Finally, the Legislature should also pay down the unfunded liabilities in the state's pension system –something it has failed to do in the past.

Social media

Visit us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.