Rep. Orwall’s 3/13/18 Update: Budget / Property Tax Relief / Equal Pay / Net Neutrality / Gun Laws
March 13, 2018 | By Washington House Democrats
Dear friends and neighbors,
First, I want to make sure you know we’re having a telephone town hall meeting this Thursday evening, and I hope you’ll join us!
Finished on time!
Last Thursday, shortly after 10 p.m., the gavels came down for the last time in both legislative chambers officially marking the adjournment of the 2018 session or, as we call it here, sine die. If you have never been at a sine die ceremony, perhaps you’d like to watch this TVW video to get an idea of what it’s like.
While short, this was a fast-paced session engulfed in a collective sense of urgency to get things done—lots of things—and to get them done in 60 days. We delivered, not only in that we made it on schedule, but also because we passed a lot of really good policy for our state.
There’s a lot to report, too much for one newsletter, so I’ll be breaking it up in separate future newsletters. In the meantime, however, I do want to include a bit of information on the supplemental operating budget, as well as on some of the landmark bills we passed.
A budget that puts people first
Supplemental budgets are passed in even years and allow the state to make mid-course corrections on the two-year budget passed in odd years.
This was the year for landmark legislation, and a lot of the success we had in passing good policy was thanks to your involvement and valuable input. Here are some of those victories:
Equal Pay Opportunity Act
This long overdue legislation will make it easier for women to talk about their wages with co-workers, and will ensure employees who discuss their earnings or who ask for equal pay don’t face repercussions. I was presiding when we passed the bill in the House on a 70-28 vote.
This measure prohibits internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking or slowing down certain content while giving priority speeds to content providers who pay extra. This law was passed in response to the Federal Communication Commission’s recent rollback of 2015 net neutrality rules. Under the law, ISPs will have to provide equal access and disclose information about their network operations. Read more about this bill here.
Common-sense gun laws
The devastating news out of Florida last month made it clear that now more than ever we need to work on keeping our children safe in school.
Thank you so much for your interest and taking the time to read my legislative updates through these very fast-paced sixty days.
I want you to know that even though the session is over, I am your representative year-round, so don’t hesitate to contact my office with questions or concerns. And if you have ideas for future legislation, now that I am back in district it’ll be easier to meet and discuss them, maybe even over coffee.