2023 legislative session •
We are now halfway through the 105-day legislative session. State representatives just concluded House floor action for the day, where we have been all week voting on bills. The plan is to work tomorrow as we look ahead to house of origin cutoff on March 8.
An alternative solution for special education funding
House Republicans continue to put forward real solutions for our state’s problems. Sometimes this is in the form of an amendment. For example, yesterday, Rep. Drew Stokesbary offered a striking amendment to House Bill 1436 — a measure focused on special education funding. Drew explained our proposal in this floor speech. While it was voted down, we did persuade a few House Democrats to vote with us. You can find a comparison of proposals here. I should note that most House Republicans voted for House Bill 1436.
Partisan legislation also offers contrast between Republicans and Democrats. Below are a few bad bills, from the perspective of House Republicans, that passed this week. This is not an exhaustive list. More controversial legislation is expected over the next five days and we will be ready for these debates.
- House Bill 1074 would create heavy documentation requirements housing providers must comply with to recoup costs for damages made by tenants.
- House Bill 1169 would eliminate criminals having to pay a penalty to fund services for victims of crimes and shift these costs to taxpayers.
- House Bill 1181 would add a climate change element to the Growth Management Act.
For an updated good and bad bill list, please visit this webpage.
Holding the majority party accountable
The minority party and media are both responsible for holding the majority party accountable. House Republicans are doing everything possible to spotlight certain issues, including public safety. The media is, too — particularly the vehicular pursuit issue. These efforts have an effect on public sentiment and Democrats’ thinking.
This webpage has a collection of stories on the problems in state government since Gov. Inslee took office. And this webpage has all of the editorials newspapers have published critical of Democratic policies dating back to 2019. I have shared both platforms before.
Headlines from this week
Below are headlines from the Capitol Buzz this week on issues that our members hear a lot about from constituents. I discuss a few of these issues in my video update.
- Troopers say suspect in Sunnyside crash that killed 2 children wasn’t stopped earlier because of state pursuit law (Yakima Herald-Republic)
- Washington will need more than 1 million homes in next 20 years, says state department of commerce (KIRO TV)
- Plans to house sex offenders in Tenino canceled (KING TV)
- Opponents want to pump the brakes on WA bill to implement road usage charge (The Center Square)
- Washington bill on ‘extremism’ draws ire of House GOP leader (Capital Press)
- New commercial airport site search in WA would get do-over under bill moving through legislature (NW News Network)
House Republican town halls
House Republicans host traditional, telephone and Zoom/virtual town halls. Each option allows us an opportunity to interact with our constituents. This webpage includes all of the House Republican traditional town halls scheduled for March. It will be updated if events are added and information changes.
The Week Ahead
As we look past house of origin cutoff and to House committees considering Senate bills, please consider signing up for The Week Ahead. Not only does this communication provide you with a list of bills and their descriptions, it offers information on how to weigh in on the legislation. This link takes you to the agenda for next week.
Rep. J.T. Wilcox
House Republican Leader