Report from Olympia | Feb. 5, 2020
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The 2020 Legislature is in the middle of its fourth week, meaning there are five and a half weeks to go in the 60-day session. This Friday we will reach the deadline for bills to pass policy (non-fiscal) committees if they are to move forward. Next Tuesday, Feb. 11, is the final day for Senate fiscal committees (Ways and Means; Transportation) to vote on bills that have an impact on the state budget.
Next week we’ll receive the first quarterly state revenue forecast of the year. Once those numbers come in we will see the majority party in the Legislature begin the process of advancing its budgets in the Senate and the House. These will be “supplemental” budgets that make adjustments to the two-year spending plans adopted in 2019.
I want you to know, as details about the majority budgets emerge, that there’s already more than enough tax revenue in Olympia to meet the priorities of our state. Previous revenue forecasts gave the state $1 billion in additional funds since we left Olympia in April 2019! Even so, there are already some lawmakers proposing new taxes on employers, new carbon taxes, and even a “low-carbon fuel standard” that would essentially raise the cost of motor fuel by up to 57 cents per gallon, with no road projects to show for it.
I will continue to oppose these and other proposed tax hikes, and demand that government live within its means just like you and your family must. I will also work to advance policies important to you and our district. (Click here to listen to an update I gave KXLY.)
Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to contact me this session about issues important to you. If you are going to be at the Capitol during the session, please give us a call or stop by. It’s always great to see people from home while I’m representing you in Olympia.
Senator Mike Padden
Bill on training to identify human trafficking receives Senate hearing
On Monday the Senate Law and Justice Committee heard testimony on my proposal to combat sexual exploitation of children and vulnerable adults by having Washington hotels and motels conduct training on preventing human trafficking.
Under Senate Bill 6356, hotels and motels would provide annual training to their employees on identifying human-trafficking situations, and post signage regarding human-trafficking awareness. Input and support was received from the lodging and hospitality industries in drafting the legislation.
Several members of the hospitality industry testified in support of the bill.
Click here to watch the testimony of Rev. Timothy Heffer (Shared Hope/The Justice and Mercy Foundation).
Bills continue to advance
Several of the bills I introduced for 2020 continue to advance this legislative session. Here are a few to keep an eye on.
- SB 6297 — The state is now requiring people who work in licensed daycares to take college courses and get a certificate. This bill would allow their years of experience to count in place of some of the mandatory training. There was a public hearing on this bill in the Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee. You can hear my comments on this bill, by clicking here.
- SB 6501 — This bill would make unauthorized disposal of human remains an unranked class C felony. This bill is scheduled for a vote in the Law and Justice Committee on Thursday.
- SB 6450 – This bill would establish the warm water fishing advisory group. Warm water fishing advocates want to get involved in the management of the program to increase fishing opportunities. Expanding warm water fishing can improve the economy and promote outdoor activity. The bill received a public hearing in the Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday.
Five pages serving in Olympia this week
This year our office made a concerted effort to get more young people from our district selected as pages for the Senate. Our success was evident this week, when we hosted five pages in Olympia – four of whom are from our area.
- Grace Ann Trudel, a 14-year old homeschooled student from Spokane, enjoys music, playing bass, making movies and taking part in her youth group.
- Her brother Jonathan Trudel is a sophomore homeschooler who enjoys filmmaking and film history.
- Chloe Noller is a sophomore from Chattaroy who attends Northwest Christian High School in Colbert. She enjoys singing, acting, reading, sewing, and participating in her youth group and Future Business Leaders of America.
- Jorja Albert from Spokane Valley is a 10th-grade student at University High School. She is an avid reader who enjoys participating in Knowledge Bowl and math club.
- The page from outside the district is Sophia Maynard, a 14-year old freshman from Olympia. She is the daughter of Jackson Maynard, a former staffer at the Senate who worked on Law and Justice Committee issues. She enjoys drama, playing guitar and volunteering.
These five tremendous young people are doing a great job so far, I’m sure they will learn a lot and enjoy their time serving in the Senate.
Our page program is a great opportunity for students to learn about government first-hand. While all of our slots are filled for this short session, you can click here to learn more about the Senate Page Program and how to help a young person apply next session.
Prof. DeWolf talks law school with legislative interns
Proving that video technology has other applications beyond supporting remote testimony to legislative committees, our good friend Professor David DeWolf met remotely this week with around 25 of the legislative interns, aides, and staff working here at the Capitol who may be interested in attending law school.
A graduate of Stanford University and Yale Law School, Professor DeWolf started his career as a clerk for Justice Stephen Bistline of the Idaho Supreme Court. In 1980 he began private practice in Spokane with the firm of Lukins & Annis, P.S. and after four years of practice, began teaching torts and criminal law at Oklahoma City University. He returned to Spokane to join the faculty of Gonzaga University School of Law, and after 28 years became professor emeritus in 2016.
His presentation included reasons to pursue a law-school education, things to be cautious of, and what the differences are between ranking law schools.
A fun fact: Professor DeWolf taught half of the members of today’s state Supreme Court!
From the District:
The Landlord Association of the Inland Northwest visits Olympia
Each session, the Legislature tackles issues that affect everyday citizens in their homes and at their places of work. Associations represent these individuals when they join around a shared priority to share their views with their lawmakers.
I recently had a group of visitors from the Landlord Association of the Inland Northwest.
Affordable housing is one of the most crucial issues we face this session, and various policies can either help landlords provide additional housing or make it harder for them to do business.
It was great to talk with them and hear their priorities and concerns for this session.
If you plan to be in Olympia, either as part of a group or as an individual, please don’t hesitate to stop by and say hello.
2020 Government Guide for the 4th LD
Together we can create a better state for our children and future generations, but it takes your active participation with your government. To help facilitate that participation, I’ve created this government guide to provide easier access to important contact information you may need. In this guide, you’ll find names, addresses, phone numbers, websites, and e-mail addresses for city, county, state and federal government. You will also find contact information for local agencies and resources, as well as some general information about our district.
In addition to posting the newly updated 2020 guide online, there are also a limited number of hard copies of the Government Guide available. If you would like a hard copy of the guide, please contact my legislative assistant Janet at 360-786-7606 and she will send one by mail, while supplies last.
If you have a question or concern about state government, please do not hesitate to contact our office. We are here to serve you!
Phone: (360) 786-7606
Street address: 106 Irv Newhouse Building, Capitol Campus, Olympia, WA 98504
Postal address: PO Box 40404, Olympia, WA 98504
Email address: Mike.Padden@leg.wa.gov
PLEASE NOTE: Any email or documents you provide to this office may be subject to disclosure under RCW 42.56. If you would prefer to communicate by phone, please contact Sen. Padden’s office at (360) 786-7606.
To request public records from Sen. Padden, please contact Randi Stratton who is the designated public records officer for the Secretary of the Senate and Senate members.