Update from Olympia – Feb. 1, 2018

February 1, 2018


Due to election year restrictions, I will be limited in how I can communicate with you about what is going on in Olympia. Please be sure to subscribe to my newsletter if you already haven’t. You can also unsubscribe at anytime by clicking here. Feel free to share this with others that live in our district.

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A win for rural Washington


The Senate finally approved a Hirst fix for our district’s water troubles. Senate Bill 6091, which was a bipartisan compromise, was signed into law.

I had some concerns about the bill, but our community fares well under the proposal. People will be charged a bit more to drill a well, but the solution really puts us back to the status quo, allowing rural residents to get water. It also includes an exemption for livestock. They imposed some new limits on water usage in areas without a way to actually measure it, but don’t tell anybody.

Click here to read my press release.

Fighting for the most vulnerable

Things are moving fast in Olympia and the new majority is working hard to jam through controversial legislation aimed at pleasing special interests. This week I spoke out against a law that mandates abortion coverage for insurers in our state. I view this as an anti-choice bill that takes away constitutional rights of religious organizations and silences the voices of those who want a choice about what their money buys in the insurance market. I offered an amendment and spoke in support of others that sought to protect the most vulnerable, stopping practices that target minority communities and abortions targeting gender and the developmentally disabled. Unfortunately, the other side didn’t want to protect these vulnerable communities, instead choosing to side with special interests that wrote the bill.

ABATECommon sense laws that need to be passed

Sometimes government needs to get out of the way. We have to pass laws to fix what should be common sense. The Senate approved my legislation, Senate Bill 6070, that would allow motorcycles to park in angle spots and permits more than one motorcycle to park in a stall. Some cities have been issuing $125 tickets to riders for doing what they are supposed to – that is ridiculous!

Bump Stock Ban, SB 5992 limited in scope

As with many bills that don’t actually do what they are sold to do, this bill would have banned any trigger job to improve performance and semi-auto firearms.  I worked to mitigate the damage by working with other members to limit it just to an actual bump stock.  This is what happens when the other side has control and lawyers that have never pulled a trigger write gun laws.

I will be vigilant in protecting state preemption of gun laws and magazine bans.

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.



Fortunato Signature

Phil Fortunato,

Your 31st District State Senator

Contact Me:

Mail: PO Box 40431 Olympia, WA 98504

Olympia Office: 201 Irv Newhouse Building Olympia, WA 98504

Phone: (360) 786-7660

Email: Phil.Fortunato@leg.wa.gov

Committee assignments

During the 2018 legislative session, I am serving on the Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee and the Senate’s Transportation Committee.

Government guide

We have updated the 31st Legislative District government guide to make it easy for you to contact your federal, state and local officials. It’s a one-stop tool that gives you the phone numbers, emails and information you need for everything from schools and senior centers to members of Congress and the President.
You can access the online version of the guide anytime by clicking here or you can call my office for a physical copy while supplies last.


Let’s have coffee

I always appreciate constituents coming down to Olympia to visit. It is my pleasure to meet with you and hear about your concerns. When the 60-day legislative session concludes, I want to connect back in district. Feel free to reach out to my office to schedule a time to grab coffee and talk.

Finding government waste

Everybody knows government wastes money. The question is, where is the waste? That’s why I introduced legislation, Senate Bill 6332, that would reward state employees with a sizable bonus for finding government waste.

My bill was passed out of committee. It would establish the Productivity Board, which enlists state employees to help find the waste. This encourages the thousands of state employees to turn in suggestions on finding savings.

The Office of Secretary of State testified that for every dollar in cost, there was $10 in savings. I expect we could save $8 million next year which would compound year after year!

Do we Need a Lawyer on Fish & Wildlife Commission?

Part of the problem with government is that we have decision makers regulating things they have no idea about. Take, for example, Governor Inslee’s latest appointment to the Fish and Wildlife Commission. This state entity is in charge of making policy on hunting and fishing, so you’d think they’d want more hunters and fishers on the Commission. The latest appointee is anything but. She’s an attorney and former policy staffer for the House Democrats. I’m sure she won’t let partisan ideology influence her decision making. Her general lack of understanding and experience on these issues is concerning.