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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I love this time of year when friends and family come together for the holidays. It's been fun to go for early morning walks and watch the snowflakes drift to the ground. Out at my farm near Camas, the smell of freshly-baked pumpkin bread fills the kitchen.
It is also a very busy time of year as I prepare for the coming legislative session that begins Jan. 13 in Olympia. I wanted to take a few moments today to give you an update on those preparations and provide the results of my recent transportation survey.
Please watch your e-mail inbox for future updates when the session begins.
It is a great honor to serve as your state representative. Should you have questions about the following information or any other legislative-related matter, please don't hesitate to contact me.
From my house to yours, I want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a joyous New Year!
Transportation survey – The results are in!
Transportation will likely be one of the biggest and most controversial issues of the coming 2014 legislative session. That's why I wanted to poll the people I represent. On Nov. 6, I sent out a transportation survey to recipients of this e-mail update. The survey closed Nov. 22 with 476 respondents participating. While this is not a scientifically-conducted poll, the results do provide some useful information going into the next legislative session. Here's how you responded to three of the questions:
Would you be willing to pay 10 cents or more per gallon of gas to pay for transportation projects around the state?
- 46.8 percent – No
- 18.5 percent – No, because… (respondents were given the ability to each describe why they would not support a state gas tax increase.)
- 17.2 percent – Yes
- 11.3 percent – Yes, but only if… (respondents were given the ability to individually describe their criteria for supporting a state gas tax increase.)
- 6.1 percent – I'm not sure – I need to learn more about the issue.
If you had to pay 10 cents or more per gallon of gas, how would this impact you financially?
- 41.5 percent – It would have a moderate impact on me financially, but I could probably afford it.
- 40.4 percent – It would have a negative impact on me financially and I cannot afford it.
- 18.2 percent – It would have little to no impact on me financially.
On the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) project, I asked citizens to “mark the answer that best reflects your views on how this project should be handled.”
- 33.6 percent – Washington state should retain control and interests in its share of the CRC project, but move forward with a redesign that excludes light rail and provides higher clearance for river transport.
- 26.6 percent – Other (respondents were given the opportunity to individually tell their views.)
- 19.9 percent – A new Columbia River Crossing is not necessary at this time. Washington and Oregon should scrap this project until a later time.
- 13.6 percent – Washington state should retain control and interests in its share of the CRC project and fund its part of the current proposal, which includes light rail to Vancouver and low river clearance that could impede economic river transports.
- 6.3 percent – Washington state should step aside, ceding its interests and control to the state of Oregon, and allow Oregon to take the lead in building the CRC with light rail and toll-setting authority.
In April, during the peak of CRC funding discussions, I introduced House Bill 2025, which would have provided a redesign with higher clearance and without light rail. It would have been a viable alternative to keep the CRC project moving forward. Unfortunately, the bill never received a hearing. The survey results show the majority of folks want a redesign, just as I had proposed. And they do not want Washington to cede control and toll-setting authority to Oregon. The survey shows that people are with me on these issues.
Thank you to all who took this poll. I will keep your answers in mind when I am voting on issues that come before the House Transportation Committee and to the House floor. For more survey results, contact my office.
Transportation – Please suggest 18th District trade-dependent products and services
The House Transportation Committee chairwoman says she will use the 2014 session to focus on transportation's role in domestic and international trade. To prepare for this, she wants to collect information on all trade-dependent products and services throughout Washington state.
You can be a part of this process. Please identify a product or service in the 18th District that is domestically- or internationally-traded and provide the following information:
• Why is this product or service important to our district?
• Where does the product or service go?
• How does the product or service get to its final location?
Please respond to me no later than Jan. 2. My e-mail is: email@example.com. In the subject line, write: 18th District trade-dependent product/services. Thank you in advance!
2014 Legislative Proposals
In the past six months, I've attended and held numerous meetings throughout the 18th District. People from all walks of life have sat down with me and voiced their concerns and ideas for legislation. I have drafted legislation in response that would:
- Create consistency with city and county petition signature laws;
- Provide financial relief for smaller cities through seasonal worker pension reform;
- Protect private property through changes in adverse possession law;
- Create a fair process of changing school district boundary lines;
- Work to reduce highway littering;
- Reform government rulemaking and regulatory permitting;
- Reduce public construction costs through prevailing wage reforms; and
- Limit benefits from injuries, diseases, death caused by use of drugs and alcohol in the workplace.
In addition, I am working on several other issues, including an apprenticeship program for the restaurant industry, extending the use of license plates in good condition, restoring funding to the Public Works Trust Fund, implementing reforms recommended by my Education Kitchen Cabinet, and seeking help for those people who lost their health insurance plans to Obamacare.
Click here to download my 2014 Legislative Proposals document with details on each of these bills. If you have ideas of your own, please contact my office.
"Protecting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!"
469 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7812 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000