Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We're now four weeks into the 2020 legislative session. Friday will be policy cut-off, which means lawmakers have been busy introducing, hearing, and passing legislation. To date, we've seen nearly 1,400 new bills introduced in the House and Senate.
Before we get into some of the policies and issues, we want to share the long-awaited results of our mail-in survey.
Survey Results: Your Voice Matters
Our staff members spent many hours going through each one of the surveys you returned to tally the results. We asked you several important questions and you made your opinions very clear. Here is a synopsis and I'm glad to share more details if you're interested. Just send me an email request.
I clearly understand what your priorities are, and will work to meet your expectations.
Annual Policy Cut-Off Review: Good Bills, Interesting Bills, Controversial Bills
As mentioned above, legislators have introduced nearly 1,400 bills since the 2020 session began on Jan. 13. Of course, with so many bills, there's plenty of material on a variety of topics. Here, I'd like to recap just a few.
- House Bill 2227 and House Bill 2659 would establish and implement $30 car tabs.
- House Bill 2479 would reaffirm the prohibition of a local income tax.
- House Bill 2190 would eliminate “ghost bills” and increase legislative transparency.
- House Bill 2323 would honor your will from I-976 and fully fund transportation projects without raising taxes.
- House Bill 2464 would make prescription drugs more affordable.
- House Bill 2465 would hold all elected prosecutors accountable by requiring them to submit an annual report on how they carried out their duties.
- House Bill 2747 would establish the tardigrade as the state microanimal.
- Senate Bill 6121 would designate the Pacific razor clam as the official state clam.
- House Bill 2155 would designate the Suciasaurus rex as the state dinosaur.
- House Bill 2344 would prohibit pet stores from selling a dog or cat.
- House Bill 2279 creates a craft cannabis production license.
- Gun rights – House Bill 2241 would ban “assault weapons,” House Bill 2467 would create a centralized background check system, House Bill 2519 would restrict access to ammunition, and House Bill 1374 would give local jurisdictions authority to regulate firearms.
- Gas tax increases – House Bill 1110 would authorize a clean fuels program to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels per unit, which could raise the cost of gas by .57 cents per gallon by 2030, and diesel by .63 cents per gallon by 2030. Despite bipartisan opposition, the bill passed out of the House 52-44. Additionally, a day later, House Bill 2913 was introduced, which would raise the gas tax an additional 9.7 cents.
- Mandatory comprehensive sex education – House Bill 2184 would require comprehensive sexual health education in all public schools.
- B&O tax to fund college scholarships – Senate Bill 6492 is a fix to the $900 million tax imposed last year to fund college scholarships. they didn't charge enough and are now raising this tax despite your rejection of it in the Nov. advisory ballot.
- Voting rights for felons – House Bill 1924 would restore voting rights to convicted felons.
What's your take? I invite your comments and feedback on the issues.
Making Daycare More Affordable
Lastly, I want to share a video highlighting some work I've been doing to reduce the cost of childcare. I do hope you enjoy it; and a special thanks to all of the childcare providers who took the time to meet and collaborate with me.
Want to Know What's Happening in Olympia?
Here are some great resources to stay in tune with the buzz from the 2020 session:
- RepresentativeChrisGildon.com: Here you can find all my news releases, email updates, and the bills I have sponsored.
- The Washington State Ledger: This is the House Republican Caucus's latest tool to keep you in tune with everything going on in Olympia and throughout the entire state.
- Capitol Buzz: Here you can find headlines and stories from media outlets throughout the state, including newspaper, radio, television.
- Legislature's website: You can also track legislation, get bill reports, and comment on bills of interest as well as view committee agendas and information about upcoming activities in the Legislature.
- TVW: Tune into TVW, Washington's own version of C-SPAN. You can even catch floor and committee action live.
Keep the Feedback Coming
We still have five weeks to go in this 60-day sprint and the action is about to pick up now that we've nearly reached the halfway point. There are numerous issues we still have to tackle, and countless hours of floor debate to come. I'll continue to be your voice and do everything in my power to represent the people of the 25th District.
As always, if you'd like to connect with me, contact my office at (360) 786-7968 or email me at Chris.Gildon@leg.wa.gov. If you're going to be in Olympia, then please contact my legislative assistant, Rachel Jo Elliott, to set up an in-person appointment.
It's an honor serving you!