Dear friends and neighbors,
As you probably heard, we elected Rep. Laurie Jinkins as our new Speaker of the House. In her opening day remarks she said that while her title may be Speaker, she sees her primary job as listening. She came to the House in 2011 and over the years of working together and getting to know her, I can tell you that she is a hard-working legislator and an honorable person. I look forward to working with Speaker Jinkins in this new role.
The second week of this 8-week whirlwind session is in the books, but there’s still plenty of time for you to get involved in YOUR democracy:
- Go to the Member Roster for information on how to contact lawmakers
- Find out How a Bill Becomes a Law
- Learn how to read a bill
- Get detailed information on every bill
- Testify at a committee hearing. View calendars and agendas here
- Watch hearings and floor action online on TVW
Your views and interests, combined with your participation, are crucial to my decision-making process, so don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and ideas with me.
Ask Brian Video
This week I received an email from Dot in Kelso asking about special education. Click on the image below for my response.
Update on my bills
- My fire trailer bill, HB 2353, discussed in my first video update, was heard in the Transportation Committee last Thursday.
- I believe the privacy of employees and their vehicles should be protected and an employer should not require workers to waive their right to privacy for the sake of being hired. In response to a situation in which a business was searching their workers’ cars for no reason, I introduced HB 2239. My bill would prohibit unjustified searches and employers from requiring employees to waive their rights as they relate to vehicle searches. Some issues were raised when the bill was heard in the Labor and Workplace Standards Committee last week, so I’m working with stakeholders and members of the committee on a few changes.
- This week I introduced HB 2767 at the request of the Department of Natural Resources. The bill would designate and properly post recreational shooting areas on lands managed by the Department, which would enhance the safety of all recreational users. The measure has strong bipartisan support, in fact, three of my colleagues from the other side of the aisle are cosponsors. I hope the Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee schedules it for a hearing soon.
I’m happy to report that last week we passed two of my bills out of the Rural Development, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, which I chair:
- When it comes to public lands, if I see a “keep out” sign, I should have the right to know why I don’t have access. Right now that information is not required to be posted anywhere. I am sponsoring HB 2138 to require that all new restriction or closure signs on lands managed by DNR, WDFW, and the State Parks and Recreation Commission include a reference to the appropriate supporting legal authority. The lands are public, so the public should have that information.
- Dungeness crab fishery is the most valuable single species fishery on the West Coast. To help preserve economic viability for our coastal communities, we need to preserve access to our crab resource. So I am sponsoring HB 2250 to expand the coastal commercial Dungeness crab pot removal program during the fishery from May 1st through September 15th, in addition to the primary season. Expanding the program to retrieve abandoned gear will reduce the number of whales that get tangled up in gear and bring a significant improvement to crab fisheries management.
Last week’s telephone town hall
If you joined us at our telephone town hall last Thursday, I want to thank you for participating and hope you found the call informative. If you missed it, click on the image below to go to the Vekeo site where you will be able to access the audio files for this as well as previous telephone town halls.
Protecting consumer data privacy
Innovative technologies have made our lives easier, but our personal information has taken a hit in the process. We don’t know what information big corporations are collecting about us or what they are doing with it.
It’s past time for big tech to answer those big questions, so we will consider legislation that strikes a balance between consumer privacy with innovation and industry. You can be sure that whatever measures we pass this year will focus on empowering consumers, not corporate profits.
Paging in the legislature—a week your teen will remember forever!
Not everyone gets to spend time on the House Floor, but since the duties of legislative pages include civics instruction, presenting the flags and distributing amendments to lawmakers during Floor debate, they get a behind the scenes look at what we do here at the Capitol.
That’s part of the reason paging is such a memorable experience for students between the ages of 14 and 16 who serve in Olympia for one whole week during the legislative session.