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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Since the legislative session began Jan. 12, I have introduced 19 bills and one House resolution. (Go here to see my bill list.) I am pleased to report action on at least five of those measures.

  • House Bill 1155 would provide additional property tax relief to senior citizens and people with disabilities. It had a hearing Jan. 23 in the House Finance Committee. I am awaiting executive action on the bill.
  • House Bill 1157 would allow licensing subagents to keep a portion of fees collected when a “Quick Title” is issued. A Quick Title is a certificate of ownership for a vehicle or boat that a citizen can get immediately. This measure passed the House Transportation Committee and is awaiting action by the House Rules Committee.
  • House Bill 1158 would create more local control of growth planning. A public hearing was held Jan. 22 in the House Local Government Committee. The committee is expected to take action on the measure tomorrow.
  • House Bill 1159 would require drivers under age 18 to display a “new driver” decal. A public hearing was held in the House Transportation Committee on Jan. 29. We are working to amend parts of the measure before the committee takes a vote.
  • House Bill 1160 would increase fines for littering and provide those proceeds to help fund state parks. This measure passed from the House Environment Committee on Monday. It has been referred to a second committee for action.

I'm very pleased and excited with the successes of these bills. For the past two weeks in this e-newsletter, I've listed new bills that I've sponsored. You can see the first batch of those bills and descriptions here. The second batch of those measures can be found here. You'll find my third batch of newly-introduced bills below in this e-newsletter.

Nearly all of these measures were brought to me as ideas and suggestions by constituents in the 18th District. I'm honored to serve you and bring your ideas to the table in Olympia. If you have questions, comments or suggestions about any of these bills or other issues, please contact my office.

Rep. Liz Pike with RiverLink School students

MY BILLS – THE THIRD LIST
(See first list here. See the second list here.)

This third batch of bills focuses on fostering a vibrant, world class sport fishing/tourism industry for our state's struggling rural economies, boosting the ability of our cities and counties to fund important public infrastructure needs by restoring the Publics Works Assistance Account, and finally, making your tax dollars go farther by reforming the Washington State Department of Transportation.

Expanding recreational fishing opportunities in Washington – House Bill 1660

Description: The largest single contributor to the Department of Fish and Wildlife's (DFW) budget comes from recreational fishing licenses and excise taxes on fishing tackle at $71 million or 19.1 percent of DFW's total budget. The smallest contribution comes from commercial fishing interests at $1.5 million or less than one half of one percent of DFW's budget. Yet, non-tribal commercial fishers are less restricted and given more ability to harvest more fish than our sports fishers. This measure would prioritize sport fishing over commercial gill net fishing to transform Washington into a world class sport fishing destination. 

Status: Referred to the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

Saving tax dollars through transportation reforms – House Bill 1662

Description: This legislation directs the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to use design-build contracts for all highway projects and downsize the agency's engineering divisions. The bill essentially directs WSDOT to transition into a planning and oversight role and to be responsible for the functioning of the transportation system as a whole. This bill has come about as the result of WSDOT engineering mistakes which have cost taxpayers millions of dollars in cost overruns during the past decade. By privatizing both the engineering design and construction to private companies, taxpayers would no longer be on the hook to pay for costly mistakes.

Status: In the House Transportation Committee awaiting a public hearing.

Bridge construction

Allowing Local Legislators to Become Voting Members on Regional Transportation Policy Boards – House Bill 1163

Description: This bill comes as a request of Clark County Commissioners and my own frustration that elected legislators are not permitted to be full voting members of the Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council (RTC).  I have attended several RTC meetings and note that a member representing Oregon's Department of Transportation is allowed a vote, as is a member of Portland's Metro Planning agency. The RTC is tasked with planning all future transportation corridors in Southwest Washington. It does not seem prudent that two officials from another state are allowed to vote on this committee, yet our own legislators are blocked. House Bill 1163 would allow the senator from each legislative district to appoint one legislator as a voting member of the policy board.

Status: In the House Transportation Committee awaiting a public hearing.

Restoring Resources to the Capital Budget – House Bill 1661 and House Joint Resolution 4205

Description: These bills would boost the ability of cities and counties to fund important public infrastructure needs by restoring the Publics Works Assistance Account, (PWAA). I represent the major portion of six small cities in my district including Camas, Washougal, Battle Ground, Yacolt, La Center and Ridgefield. When I visit with our local elected officials from these  jurisdictions, I  repeatedly hear how disappointed they are with the Legislature sweeping funds from the highly successful program.The PWAA has provided very low interest loans to local governments on important infrastructure projects for years. Cities and counties borrow money from the state for water and sewer projects, road improvements, and other projects, and then over time, repay the money back to the state. There has never been a default in the history of this program.  Both these bills would restore revenues so that we can continue this successful program in our state.

Status: House Bill 1661 and House Joint Resolution 4205 are in the House Appropriations Committee awaiting hearings.

 

Sincerely,


Liz Pike
"Protecting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!"

State Representative Liz Pike, 18th Legislative District
RepresentativeLizPike.com
469 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
liz.pike@leg.wa.gov
360-786-7812 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000