Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Can you believe the 2020 session is already more than halfway finished? We only have three weeks left to get bills through both chambers and to the governor's desk. Wednesday is the last day to consider bills in their house of origin. Each bill has to pass through both the House and Senate. So, any that have not already passed one of those chambers will have to wait for at least another year.
Lowering the Cost of Prescription Drugs
Speaking of passing bills, I'm happy to share with you that one of my priority bills, House Bill 2464, unanimously passed the House this week and moved onto the Senate. This bill seeks to protect patients from excess costs of prescription medications by requiring pharmacists to charge the lesser of the patient's insurance co-payment or the cash price.
Many times, the cash price is actually less than the insurance co-payment price. Sometimes this difference can be significant, up to $70 per prescription. And it happens far too often.
Lowering prescription medication prices can make a big difference for many of our friends and neighbors who are struggling to get by. This bill could give them some much needed relief.
B&O Surcharge Tax
Unfortunately, while that bill would help Washingtonians, the majority party has already passed another bill that will do the opposite. Senate Bill 6492 is another tax increase and was the first bill signed into law this session after it quickly moved through both chambers of the Legislature.
This bill was needed to “fix” some of the issues of House Bill 2158, that the majority party passed last year, which increased taxes by about $900 million on service-related businesses in order to fund higher education for low-income families.
However, that bill didn't raise enough money to meet the demand. So, they passed the new bill this year to expand that tax to more than 4,400 additional businesses across the state. Ultimately, this is another tax that will hurt businesses and families. I introduced a piece of legislation that would help make higher education more affordable by providing tax incentives to businesses, but it was not adopted. Click on the image below to watch my latest video update to learn more.
In-District Visits This Weekend
Lastly, I want to remind you to continue to reach out to me and share your input. I know many of you are unable to come to Olympia and meet with me in person. As your elected public servant, I believe it's important to hear from all who want to share their ideas and concerns. So, please join me this weekend, with my fellow lawmakers from the 25th District, Rep. Kelly Chambers and Sen. Hans Zeiger, for an in-district office visit.
See details below and click on the links for available appointment times. We look forward to seeing you.
213 N. Meridian, Puyallup, WA 98371
Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Cool Bean Espresso
14201 Meridian E., Puyallup, WA 98373
Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
If you'd like to set up a meeting at another time, or, if all our meeting times on Feb. 22 fill up, please call my office at 360-786-7968 and we will be happy to schedule a time.
Stay up to date with Olympia
Here are some great resources to keep updated on 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.
It's an honor serving you.