The Legislature is now more than halfway done with the 2019 legislative session. Since my last update, a lot of bills have passed out of the House and over to the Senate. I provide an update on a few of those below.
Low carbon fuel standard bill passes House
A proposal that would significantly increase the price of gas and goods cleared the House on party lines last week. The bill would create a low carbon fuel standard in an effort to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels. California's low carbon fuel standard has added an extra 16 cents per gallon at the pump. It's regressive, hurts those who can least afford it, and breaches the trust of voters, who have already told us they don't want carbon pricing. Plus, it would do very little to help the environment. Even the governor's Climate Legislative and Executive Workgroup reported that it was not an efficient mechanism for reducing carbon emissions.
I talk about this bill's flaws in the video update below. In it, I also discuss my bill to eliminate or extend the statute of limitations for felony sex crimes and my bill to ensure fire services may continue being utilized during large-scale emergencies.
Moving the state's presidential primary from May to March
A bill that would move the state's presidential primary from May to March also passed the House and Senate, and was signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee last week.
While I appreciate the effort to move the presidential primary up by a few months, I could not support this bill. In addition to moving the presidential primary to March, it requires voters to declare a party affiliation in order to participate. I think that's wrong. By doing so, we're disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of people who simply do not want to pledge allegiance to a specific party. Since you, as a voter, are funding the primary with your tax dollars, I think you should have the right to participate regardless of how you choose to politically identify.
Local students serve as pages
I've had the honor of sponsoring three local students as pages so far this session. These students get the unique opportunity to see their state government in action and make friends from other areas of our state.
During a page's weeklong service, they are responsible for delivering messages and documents to state lawmakers in their offices, committee meetings and the House chamber. They also attend Legislative Page School during the day, where they learn more about the legislative process.
To become a page, applicants must have a legislative sponsor, be between the ages of 14 and 16, and obtain written permission from their parents and school. Pages earn $35 per day while serving in the program. For more information about the House Page Program, click here. If you have or know a student who would be interested, please contact my office.
As always, if you have questions about any of the issues discussed in this update, or any other matter before the state Legislature, please don't hesitate to get in touch. You can do so by calling my office at (360) 786-7966 or sending an email to Dan.Griffey@leg.wa.gov.
It's an honor serving you!