Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We are now in our second week of the 2016 legislative session. As I shared previously this is a “supplemental budget year” and is only scheduled for 60 days. In shorter sessions things move quickly. (Key dates coming up in the next few weeks are listed at the bottom of this newsletter).
As legislators, we are already hearing from many constituents on topics of importance statewide and back home, including education, environmental, law enforcement, and budget issues. Many constituents have also visited me here in Olympia, which is always appreciated. I always welcome your input on issues important to you. I will make sure to keep you updated on various issues as the session continues.
Update on local government fireworks bill
Following days of extreme heat and the devastating Sleepy Hollow Fire in Wenatchee last summer, local government officials found state law confusing regarding implementing fireworks ordinances and, as a result, did not fully understand how to take action at the local level. Current state law requires that if counties and cities adopt rules that are stricter than the minimum state standards, they cannot go into effect until at least one year after local adoption.
Rep. Mia Gregerson (D-SeaTac) and I have teamed up to introduce House Bill 2348 that would remove the one-year waiting period for local governments to adopt fireworks ordinances. On January 14th we both testified before the House Local Government committee on behalf of this proposal. I am pleased to share that the committee is developing an amendment that allows local governments to issue temporary restrictions on fireworks if there is an extreme fire hazard due to drought conditions. This amendment would represent a compromise, which is what we often try to achieve here in Olympia.
House Bill 2348 is an important step forward in advance of the next fire season. This bill has 40 bipartisan co-sponsors and is supported by several statewide associations and advocacy groups including the Association of Washington Cities, Washington State Association of Counties, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Office of the State Fire Marshall, Washington State Council of Firefighters, and Washington Fire Chiefs.
Click here for Link to TVW video coverage of testimony for House Bill 2348.
Click here for audio – Rep. Brad Hawkins fireworks bill up for discussion this week.
Click here to read Wenatchee World's editorial.
Every Friday morning, my seatmates, Rep. Cary Condotta and Sen. Linda Evans Parlette, and I call into our local radio stations to talk about the latest events and discussions in Olympia. I encourage you to listen in!
If you have any questions or comments, please contact my office anytime at (360) 786-7832, toll-free at (800) 562-6000, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for allowing me to represent you in Olympia.
122G Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
360-786-7832 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000