Dear Friends and Neighbors,
On Saturday, Feb. 17, I will be partnering with my fellow 47th District legislators, Rep. Pat Sullivan and Sen. Joe Fain, to host a town hall meeting at the Golden Steer Restaurant in Kent. I really enjoy these meetings because they give us an excellent opportunity to fill you in on the latest from Olympia and take your questions on a wide variety of issues. We had great turnout last year, and I hope we'll see strong numbers again this year.
WHAT: 47th Legislative District town hall meeting
WHERE: Golden Steer Restaurant in Kent (23826 104th Ave SE, Kent, WA 98031)
WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 17 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
I look forward to seeing you on the 17th!
Video update: my role as a citizen legislator
In my latest video update, I discuss my role as a citizen legislator and the difference Washingtonians can make when they get involved in the legislative process. Click on the image below to watch:
House Bill 2419 approved by House
In a 78-17 vote last Monday, the House passed a bill I've introduced to ease restrictions on how Washington-based microbreweries and wineries sell their products at farmers markets.
Today, microbreweries must guess how much of their product to bottle at the brewery before setting up shop at the market and offering samples for tasting. Needless to say, this is an inexact science. That's not the only problem, however. The fact is many breweries don't even have the capability to bottle their products, and therefore, can't sell them at farmers markets. In a highly-competitive industry, that hurts business.
The bottom line is we don't need to have these restrictions in place at farmers markets. We should be letting the free market work so hundreds of our small businesses — more than 900 wineries and 400 microbreweries operate in Washington state — have the opportunity to meet the demand for their products. I've introduced House Bill 2419 so microbreweries can fill growlers (re-usable containers) on site. Under my bill, mead, cider and strong beer could also be sold this way. The bill is now in the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee.
House Bill 2420 voted out of House Environment Committee
Last week, House Bill 2420 was voted out of the House Environment Committee and sent to the Rules Committee for further consideration. This bill would protect property owners of on-site sewage systems from a number of unnecessary government regulations that limit their rights to maintain their private systems.
House Democrats ignore Republican appeals for greater ST3 relief
Although Republicans in Olympia have introduced bills and amendments to provide significant relief to those burdened by the tax and fee hikes in Sound Transit 3, Democrats have insisted on providing the smallest amount of relief possible. In my last update, I mentioned how they've pushed all their chips in on House Bill 2201, which would provide a small rebate to those who have seen a huge increase in their car-tab fees. HB 2201 came to the House floor again this year, passing 60-37 on Jan. 24. I voted in favor of it, but only because some relief is better than none. However, I believe there's a lot more we could have done, as do my colleagues.
Here is a mashup of our floor speeches from the Jan. 24 debate:
I recently had the opportunity to sponsor 14-year-old Eden Elliott of Kent as a page in the state House. Eden is not only an artist and an aspiring novelist, but she is also a Taekwondo instructor who holds a high red belt. While serving as a House page, she attended page school every day, delivered messages and documents to legislators and staff, and fulfilled other tasks critical to the efficient operation of the Legislature. Thank you for your service, Eden!
Please feel free to contact me any time with comments, questions or concerns. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and my phone number is (360) 786-7918.
It is an honor to serve you in the Legislature.