Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I'm back in Olympia for the start of the 2019 session. I want to thank you for placing your trust in me as I work to bring our priorities, issues and values to the forefront in the state House. I think of you often as I'm in committee, voting on the House floor, or in other legislative meetings. The residents of the 7th Legislative District are a hardworking, dedicated, informed and hearty bunch. I only hope to impact and influence your lives as much as you have mine.
My colleagues once again elected me to be Deputy Leader. In this capacity I will serve on the leadership team for the House Republican Caucus, be an occasional spokesman for our legislative agenda, help appoint ranking members on committees, and meet with the governor and other legislators in final negotiations on bills.
As you may know, my seatmates, Sen. Shelly Short and Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber, were also elected to leadership positions. Sen. Short is the floor leader for the Senate Republicans, and just this week, Rep. Maycumber was elected floor leader for House Republicans. Floor leaders are responsible for developing debate strategies, initiating and responding to parliamentary inquires and actions on the floor, and help to oversee the caucus agenda and messaging.
Having all three legislators from one district in elected leadership positions is unique and, I think, reflects upon the quality of the district itself.
Some of the issues we'll be dealing with this year include tax increases, sustainable budgets, housing and homelessness, water storage, mental health reforms, opioids, rural broad band, wildfire prevention and response, wolves, and dams.
Each of these issues have their own complexities and will impact citizens in our region. I want you to know that with record revenues coming into the state coffers, I do NOT believe we need to raise taxes. The governor wants another $3.7 billion tax increase to fund his environmental agenda, which includes about a billion dollars to save the orcas.
What do you believe should be a priority for the Legislature this year? What are the issues you're struggling with everyday? If you could sponsor one bill or bring one idea to the table, what would it be? Even if you've communicated your thoughts and ideas to me in the past, I'd appreciate hearing from you again. I often use YOUR words; YOUR stories when trying to get legislators from Seattle to understand what life is like in Eastern Washington.
Thank you again for placing your trust in me. We may not agree on every issue. But my door is always open and my promise to you is no one will work harder for their constituents than your 7th District legislators.