Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Week four sees more Pike bills advance from their respective committees
This week, I continued with my final push to get important bills heard and voted on in committee ahead of today's policy cut-off deadline. As I've mentioned before, most of the bills I have introduced are to undo bad policies made by non-elected agency bureaucrats. I take this job seriously! Unfortunately, there will always be additional new, harmful rules to rein in. They say a cowboy's work is never done. I also think a conservative Washington legislator's work is never done!
Pike bills advancing
Here's a snapshot of my bills moving out of committee:
House Bill 2414 – Creating a Bi-State Bridge Project Legislative Work Group: I'm thrilled to report this measure gained unanimous approval Wednesday in the House Transportation Committee. Rep. Wylie and I joined forces on this bill to create basic oversight over affordable projects to improve freight mobility and provide congestion relief in corridors between Portland, Oregon and Southwest Washington. The work group would consist of eight Washington and eight Oregon legislators. It would have an equal number of bicameral and bipartisan members who represent districts in the same region as the project, with a preference for members who serve on their respective transportation committees. I am also pleased the concept has the support of Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, who calls it “one of the more positive developments in recent memory. . . on a new way forward.” Read her letter.
House Bill 2417 – Better Driver Act: This bill would modify driver's license requirements to improve skills of new drivers by specifying that license examiners must verify in the log book that the required 50 hours of practice driving has been completed. I revised this bill substantially to gain more support from committee members. My aim with several new driver safety bills was to strengthen the instruction and testing process for new drivers so we could drastically reduce the number of young driver fatalities and serious injury accidents on our roadways. This modified version of the “Better Driver Act” passed the House Transportation Committee yesterday. For now, I'm holding off on changing nighttime driving restrictions for 16- and 17-year-old drivers from 1 a.m. to 10 p.m. While I still think 1 a.m. is too late for these youngsters to be driving alone, I heard from many constituents. They believe it is a parental decision, not one that should be made by the Legislature. I listened!
House Bill 2511 – Revising Department of Early Learning rules – This measure came out of the Early Learning and Human Services Committee last week, also with a unanimous vote. The bill directs the Department of Early Learning (DEL) to allow five-year olds, regardless of whether they attend elementary school or not, to be placed in the same group (of five-year olds) within a licensed day care facility. The intent of the bill is to streamline the delivery of services to children, while continuing to protect their safety and well being. The high cost of child care places a heavy financial burden on Washington's poorest families. This bill undoes DEL's recent ruling that forced day care centers to provide additional staff to separate the five-year olds into two different classes.
House Bill 2416 – Correctional Industries' costs: This measure addresses industrial insurance costs of the Washington State Correctional Industries. When offenders are under the custody of the state performing community services for local governments or non-profits, this measure directs any premiums for industrial insurance costs will be paid by the state agency that has custody of the offender. I'm pleased to report this bill passed the House Public Safety Committee with a unanimous vote.
House Bill 2948 – Instructional worksite learning: I originally introduced House Bill 2415 at the request of the Clark County High Tech Council to establish a pilot project to create and expand instructional worksite learning. The chair of the House Education Committee took the language of my bill and added it to her own measure, House Bill 2948. She allowed me to be a secondary signer on her version. The bill passed Thursday from the House Education Committee with a unanimous vote. The new bill needs work to accomplish my original intent, so I am preparing some amendments for the House floor.
Pike testifies on growth management reforms
As you know, reforming Washington's Growth Management Act has remained one of my top priorities. I invite you to CLICK HERE to listen to my testimony before the House Local Government Committee on House Bill 2420 and House Bill 2468, both of which seek these reforms. While these bills did not advance before the cutoff, I will not rest until we find relief to restore the property rights of our rural landowners.
Please contact my office if you have any questions about these or other bills, or any issues involving state government. It is my highest honor to serve you!
"Protecting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!"