Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We have been busy over the past couple weeks in anticipation of last night's floor cutoff deadline. Now that March 11th has passed, House-approved bills will be heard in Senate committees and Senate-approved bills will be heard in House committees. Policy bills that were not approved by their respective chambers – other than the bills necessary to implement the budget – are done for the year.
As you can imagine, there are many bills of interest to our district, and I appreciate the comments I have received from many of you about them. One major topic of discussion this year has been the minimum wage. Last week, the House passed a measure to increase the minimum wage to $12 an hour over the course of four years. I voted “no” because I'm concerned about the impact it would have on small businesses operating on thin margins and on youth employment opportunities. Washington state currently has the highest minimum wage in the United States, but it could increase even further if the Senate approves House Bill 1355.
As for my bills, my School Infrastructure Recovery Bill, House Bill 1003, passed the House unanimously and now awaits action in the Senate. Another bill I sponsored at the request of Chelan County, House Bill 1752, related to residency requirements for chief examiners, also successfully passed the House. Both bills will soon be receiving Senate hearings. I am also working on multiple budget items related to important projects in our district and the Carlton Complex Fire long-term recovery efforts.
Hearing directly from you is always important to me, so please feel free to contact me anytime if you have information to share. I also want to invite you to a town hall meeting this Friday, March 13 from 4:00-5:30 p.m. The meeting will take place in the 2nd floor Ponderosa Room at the North Central Educational Service District office, 430 Olds Station Road in Wenatchee. I'm specifically inviting educators and school employees to attend, but I encourage anyone to come and participate.
Finally, I want to thank everyone who took the time to complete my survey about the tourism marketing proposal. I received helpful feedback that I've shared with some of my colleagues here. Here's the results of the survey.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your state representative.
122G Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7832 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000