Wednesday was the cutoff date for bills to pass out of their house of origin (House or Senate), so after a late night and many, many votes, we passed a lot of good bills over to the House for them to work on. We started work on bills coming over from the House yesterday.
In between these votes, I was very glad to receive some friendly visitors both from home and Washington, DC. You can read more about my visitors below.
REMINDER: Telephone Town Hall on Wednesday!
If you have a question about the hot issues in Olympia, please call in to my telephone town hall on Wednesday the 24th at 6:30 PM. You can call in toll-free by calling (800) 278-7161 or by going to listen.townhallinteractive.com and entering this PIN: 536330.
Voters Should Have Final Say on 2/3s Vote on Taxes
The last time voters passed the two-thirds vote requirement was 2012, which passed statewide with 64% support. The measure passed in all but 5 legislative districts across the state.
Last Friday, the Senate voted on a constitutional amendment to require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature for any tax increases. Voters in Washington State have passed the two-thirds requirement for tax increases as an initiative 6 times in the last 23 years. In 2012, the two-thirds requirement for tax increases (I-1185) passed with 69.5 percent of the vote in the 26th Legislative District.
In 2013, the Washington Supreme Court struck down the two-thirds initiative as unconstitutional. The constitutional amendment we voted on Friday, SJR 8211, would have negated the Court’s decision by making the two-thirds requirement part of the state constitution. Passing SJR 8211 would have sent the constitutional amendment to the ballot to be ratified by voters.
Unfortunately, it only received a vote of 26-23, short of the legislative requirement that constitutional amendments receive a two-thirds vote in order to pass.
I supported this constitutional amendment, not just because I believe it helps keep taxes as the absolute last resort, but because I believe the voters should have the final say on whether this is part of our state’s constitution. I’m disappointed it did not pass and I hope voters know that even though the two-thirds requirement passed in all but 5 legislative districts, it still failed to pass in the Senate, 26-23.
Congresswoman Cathy McMorris-Rodgers Comes to Visit
We have some very principled and courageous women in our Congressional delegation in Washington, DC. That’s why I was pleased to welcome Congresswoman Cathy McMorris-Rodgers to Olympia to discuss the issues they are facing in our nation’s capital and what we can do to work together on solutions for Washington.
A Visit from Home: Evergreen Elementary Comes to Olympia
It was such a pleasure to have a fun bunch of students from Evergreen Elementary in Lakebay on the Key Peninsula come to visit us at the Capitol this past week. I always enjoy visiting with the bright young minds in our community’s schools and was glad I had the chance to meet with them. Come visit anytime!
SB 6411 – Expanding the ability of small businesses to maintain ownership: Passed Senate unanimously. Hearing scheduled in House.
SB 6169 – Clarifying status of easements in foreclosures: Passed Senate unanimously.
SB 6525 – Reforming the State Building Code Council: Passed Senate.
SB 5581 – Adding grief counseling to covered insurance benefits: Passed Senate unanimously. Heard in House committee, 2/16.
SB 5458 – Streamlining public health district banking: Passed Senate unanimously. Heard in House committee, 2/18.
SB 6309 – Making service contracts more accessible in Washington: Passed Senate unanimously.