Dear Friends and Neighbors,
In the next two weeks as House Republican floor leader, I will be leading the charge to change some of the rules used to direct the conduct of the House chamber in order to put the people first in our business. There are four rule changes that House Republicans will be proposing:
- Require a two-thirds vote to increase taxes. Voters approved this by 64 percent in November, but unfortunately there is a legal challenge to this rule by some of the same people who serve in the House. There is nothing constitutionally that prevents the House from adopting its own rule.
- Fund education first in a separate education budget before any other budget is passed. This puts classroom funding ahead of any other programs or services provided by the state. It means we can immediately address the need for all-day kindergarten and smaller class sizes for early elementary students as required by the courts and constitution.
- Allow each representative of the people to have one bill considered in a public hearing. Since each lawmaker represents about 137,000 people, they deserve to have a voice to their interests, not just the members that represent the urban interests in our state who are economically advantaged. Many Republicans never get a hearing on a bill simply because they're in the minority. This disenfranchises the people from their district.
- Put citizens first in a public hearing, before lobbyists and agency officials speak. This is not only common sense for those who have taken off work and drive sometimes hours to give testimony, but it's the right thing to do.
Watch my video that explains our reasoning for these proposals.
If you feel strongly about these rule changes, I encourage you to contact lawmakers toll-free at (800) 562-6000. Sometimes this Legislature needs to remember who it works for. As the representative of a rural and suburban district and some of the poorest people in our state, I know that people cannot afford more tax increases, but that they do want more job opportunities to make a better future.
I enjoy hearing from you so please contact my office anytime, or feel free to set up a meeting with me in Olympia. I want to know what you think about these and other issues.
It's an honor to serve you.