|Your Second Amendment rights
I warned early on that the new majority would make a big deal about guns. The recent tragedy in Florida gave them an impetus to act. Fortunately, they could not muster the votes to significantly impact your ability to exercise your rights. I was able to get the original bump stock bill amended so it only applied to the actual piece of plastic, not all semi-automatic firearms. The ban is just symbolism over substance. My question is how does that make our students any safer tomorrow? All the proposals that have now died in Olympia would just add more layers of bureaucracy without fixing the problem. Click here to watch one of my video updates on the subject, and a proposal that I was championing in the wake of the Florida shooting to keep our students safe.
Aside from poor budgeting, the majority also took great liberties with the legislative process this year. They chose to debate important bills in the dead of night, limited debate on other bills and circumvented the legislative process to rush through legislation for special interests. Late in the evening, the majority even pushed through legislation that no one had even read! It was supposed to be a simple concurrence with the House but devolved into a dispute because changes were made to the bill without anyone knowing what was in it. Since they have the votes, the bill was approved. My seat on the Senate floor is near where the Senate pages sit. I make a point to discuss the legislative process with these young students who have taken an interest in state government. The last night of the legislative session provided quite the lesson.
Government needs to get out of the way!
Sometimes in Olympia, there are far too many solutions in search of a problem. The reality is that government often just needs to get out of the way. Here are a couple examples. We teach motorcycle riders to back into a parking spot, but local jurisdictions have been fining people $125 for doing what they are taught! The fact is we needed a law change that (I sponsored Senate Bill 6070), instead of just using common sense.
Taxpayer money is still taxpayers money no matter which budget it comes out of!
We have a problem bridge in our district between Buckley and Enumclaw. In the last 10 years, the bridge has been hit three times with over height construction equipment. The transportation budget that was approved included repainting that bridge for $2 million (from transportation budget). I had an amendment to stop the painting until we determine if the bridge could be replaced. The response? “We have to protect our infrastructure.” When the bridge is repaired, it is a 17-mile detour for emergency services to get the hospital. The solution? Upgrade a proposed pedestrian trail bridge to handle emergency vehicles. That costs $8 million (from the capital budget). How much is a new bridge? $10 Million. So, we are painting a bridge before we replace it. Your tax dollars at work!
You can see a complete list of transportation and capital projects by clicking here.
It’s an honor to serve as your state Senator. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office with any questions or concerns about your state government.
Your 31st District State Senator