Update from Olympia

Sen. Short Banner

January 24, 2020

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Greetings from Olympia!

7th LD members

Join your 7th district lawmakers for a telephone town hall

Save the date! I will be joining Reps. Maycumber and Kretz to host a telephone town hall from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, February 5. Meeting by phone (it’s similar to a radio call-in program, where listeners can ask questions) is a convenient way to communicate directly with you about what lawmakers are discussing in Olympia and learn more about your thoughts on issues important to you. Automated phone calls will go out throughout the region, inviting people to participate, but constituents who don’t receive an invitation by phone may simply call (509) 253-8574 to join in.

Sex education bill leaves out parent consent

Last year, Senate Democrats introduced SB 5395, which would mandate teaching of sex education from kindergarten onward under the guise of safety. The bill stalled in committee but has returned this session. On Wednesday, the Senate debated and passed this bill along party lines– it now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration. During the debate, I spoke up for the parents of children in our public school classrooms who don’t have say in the matter. Sex education curriculum is not needed to create safe spaces for students to share sensitive information with an adult.  That is an excuse to teach students material that parents may consider inappropriate.  While parents can opt their children out of these classes, this curriculum could be adapted to other class instruction. Whether you are a teacher, school counselor, or voluntarily work with students, most organizations require some form of training on how to recognize warning signs of trauma or inappropriate treatment. 

Bills such as these emboldens government to determine what it thinks is best and infringe upon the ultimate responsibility and role of parents in caring for their children.  It is the job of parents to take care of their children in all of these issues. Not Olympia’s.

See my floor speech below.


Low-carbon fuel standards

A hot topic during the 2020 session is Gov. Inslee’s proposal to mandate low-carbon fuel standards. SB 5412 would require oil refiners to reduce per gallon carbon emissions by 10 percent within 10 years, and ultimately by 20 percent. Because of fuel supply constraints, this proposal would increase gas prices by 57 cents a gallon* without any of the funds being directed to improve our state’s roadways and bridges.

This proposal would impose dramatic hardships on working families, raise the price of transported goods, increase costs for business, reduce Washington’s competitiveness and increase costs for vehicle maintenance. Similar requirements already have been imposed in California and Oregon where they have seen an increase in the cost of fuel.

For information purposes: Washington state has done a tremendous job of reducing its carbon emissions. We have yet to hit the state’s statutory emissions target simply because our state’s population continues to grow as more people call Washington home. How does Governor Inslee respond to this… by forcing people to buy much more expensive vehicle fuels that are economically burdensome to families, producers, manufacturers and businesses. As a reminder, Washington produces about two-tenths of 1 percent of global emissions with about 40 percent coming from transportation. If we somehow achieve the 20 percent target, we would only reduce state output by just 8 percent. Global impact would be insignificant.

*This figure comes from a study conducted by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.

with Liias on floor

Visitors from home

It was great to welcome friends from the 7th district this week. I had the chance to visit with Spokane Tribal members, PUD Commissioners, County Commissioners, students from Okanagan County, conservation districts, local judges, local ranchers, school district representatives, school employees and many more. Will you be in Olympia between now and March 12? If so, call my office and schedule an appointment.

In addition to visiting with folks from home -- most of my time so far this session has been spent attending meetings of the three Senate policy committees I’m assigned to– Local Government (I’m the lead Republican); Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources and Parks; and Environment, Energy and Technology.

I also continue to have the privilege of serving as the Senate Republican Floor Leader. In this position, I communicate regularly with the Democratic Majority Leader to keep senators in my caucus informed and am responsible for developing plans for legislative debate on bills and voting.  I also meet with other Senate Republican leaders to coordinate strategy and help develop our agenda.

As always, it is a privilege to serve as your state senator. If you need anything, my office is here for you. I can be reached by phone at (360) 786-7612 or email at Shelly.Short@leg.wa.gov. Again, please feel free to visit any time. I enjoy seeing faces from back home!