Dear Friends and Neighbors,
This past Friday was policy cutoff. This is the deadline for policy committees to pass bills. In other words, this is the day many bills stop moving. Some people refer to these bills as dead, but I prefer to think of them as hibernating because, since we’re on a two-year cycle, all the bills that didn’t make it out of their policy committees this session will be automatically reintroduced next year and will go through the process all over again, which means they still have a chance.
Next Friday is fiscal committee cutoff, so all the bills that don’t make it out of the budget committees will also be put aside… until next year.
Below is a table with all the bills we voted out of the committee that I chair, Agriculture and Natural Resources. It includes the bill numbers, prime sponsors, titles, and status.
The ones you see currently in the Appropriations and Capital Budget Committees have until Friday to be voted out.
While the Rules Committee is only one step away from the House Floor, there is no guarantee that the bills currently there will actually make it out, they still have to pass this last hurdle.
For a close look at any of these bills, enter the bill number in the search box here.
If you have any questions on any of these bills, please be sure to contact my office.
Salmon Recovery & Riparian Buffer Zones
In my first newsletter I gave you information, including a video, on the bill I had introduced to establish riparian buffer zones to help salmon thrive. While it was a good start, after getting some feedback, Reps. Debra Lekanoff, Tom Dent, Joel Kretz and I came up with a new fully bipartisan bill, which addressed issues raised in the original legislation and I discussed it in my second newsletter.
The new bill, HB 1720 is the result of a lot of work and a lot of negotiations, but also of a lot of consideration for all parties involved. The bill has garnered great support and has gained numerous co-sponsors, but it began with the good faith and genuine trust of two Democrats and two Republicans. It doesn’t get more bipartisan than this and that was my goal from the get-go. The only way this plan works is if everyone is on board and I think we are there.
Rep. Joel Kretz and I were on TVW’s The Impact last Wednesday discussing numerous angles of our bipartisan voluntary riparian buffer zones legislation. I truly believe this bill will make a difference in achieving the goal of salmon recovery, while also supporting Washington farmers. Click here or on the image below to watch:
After the public hearing, where we received input from the agricultural community, from the tribes and from conservation groups, we tweaked the bill accordingly and voted it out of committee this past Friday, meeting the cutoff deadline!
As you saw in the table above, it is now in the Capital Budget Committee, where it was heard this morning since, earlier this week, the four original sponsors of HB 1720 signed two budget proviso requests to ensure there are available funds for the salmon recovery grants specified in the bill.
For more information on the historic development of this legislation, please click here to read the press release we sent out earlier today.
Town Hall Coming up in March!
Your 24th Legislative District delegation, Sen. Kevin Van De Wege, Rep. Steve Tharinger and I will hold a telephone town hall on March 28. We’ll get you all the details and information soon, but for now, please mark it on your calendar.
Thank you so much for reading this newsletter and for the calls you’ve made and emails you have sent me. Your input matters to me and helps me represent you better.