It's been a while since I've sent one of these email updates, so I wanted to take some time to share with you details about the first few weeks of the new legislative session.
The Legislature began its work for the 2019 session on Jan. 14, and we're scheduled to adjourn after 105 consecutive days.
Within these 105 days, we're tasked with tackling a new, two-year budget. The good news is our state's economy is performing phenomenally. We have record tax collections coming into the state's coffers — more than enough to fund our priorities.
Yet, the governor is proposing massive, new tax increases, including:
- a new capital gains income tax;
- increasing the service business and occupation tax rate; and
- graduated real estate excise tax rates.
These would generate about $3.7 billion in the 2019-21 budget cycle and $5.4 billion in 2021-23.
Economists have warned Washington is due for another economic downturn. With revenues up, we should be doing all we can to bolster the outstanding economic activity we've been experiencing as well as siphoning money into our rainy day fund. Unfortunately, I predict the exact opposite to happen.
We already have
We can and should do better.
Will 2019 be the year we eliminate the statute of limitations for felony sex crimes?
This will be the fourth year in a row I sponsor legislation that would eliminate the statute of limitations on certain felony sex crimes. For those of you who have been following this bill in the past, you know this issue is deeply personal to me. I took some time recently to talk to Q13's Brandi Kruse about the bill and why it is so important to Washington's sexual assault survivors.
I'm sponsoring several other bills this session. You can read about a couple of them below. You can find all of my sponsored and co-sponsored bills here.
House Bill 1170 – In times of extraordinary emergency, like the tragic 2014 Oso landslide, the Chief of the Washington State Patrol may mobilize jurisdictions under the Washington State Fire Services Mobilization Plan to assist with response efforts. Provisions in the law that provides the WSP Chief authority to mobilize fire services is set to expire in July. My bill extends this authority to 2024.
House Bill 1233 – Many 35th District residents can attest to how devastating the Growth Management Act (GMA) has been on our communities and local economy. The reason for this, in part, is unrealistic expectations from the Growth Management Hearings Board (GMHB). Local officials don't always have the resources available to collect current, community-specific scientific data necessary to meet certain GMA requirements when making planning decisions, which sometimes leads them to be out of compliance with GMA rules. HB 1233 changes that, preventing the GMHB from overturning decisions made by local officials when officials have consulted the best available science.
House Bill 1235 – Believe it or not, it's not illegal in Washington state to show pornography to a child. My bill simply changes that.
Join my every Thursday morning on iFIBER One News Radio
Every Thursday morning at 7:40 a.m., I have the pleasure of joining Jeff Slakey's program on iFIBER One News Radio to provide an update on the 2019 legislative session. I encourage you to listen in when you can. If you miss an interview or want to listen to past interviews, I encourage you to Like my playlist on SoundCloud.
Your new House Republican Caucus Whip
This past fall, my House Republican colleagues elected me as their new Whip.
House Page Program still accepting applications
It's not too late to apply to serve as a page for the 2019 legislative session. If you know a
It's truly an honor serving you in Olympia. To be the most effective voice I can be, it's important I hear from you. You can reach my office at (360) 786-7966 or Dan.Griffey@leg.wa.gov. If you're interested in coming out to Olympia to engage in your state government or just to visit, I encourage you to reach out to my legislative assistant, Amber Oliver, to set up a time for us to meet.
I look forward to hearing from you!