Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I hope this email finds you and your family well! I want to begin this update by thanking everyone who joined Rep. Matt Boehnke and me for our virtual town hall on Monday, Jan. 31. Your thoughts, concerns, and questions are what drive my work on your behalf in Olympia. We will host another virtual town hall event in March after the 2022 session.
I know all of us don't always agree on everything all the time, but please know, I still value hearing from you! I enjoy our respectful dialogues, even when we disagree on the issue. I always welcome any feedback or thoughts on my priorities and the solutions I have introduced, my stance on issues, or anything else I've mentioned in this e-newsletter.
Policy and fiscal cutoff
We have reached what is known as policy cutoff. On Feb. 3, any House bill introduced had to pass out of committee, or it will not receive any further action this session. This cutoff does not include the bills that could have a fiscal impact on one of the state's three budgets. Fiscal policy cutoff is Monday, Feb. 7.
Next week, we will begin several consecutive days and a few potential late nights, debating and passing bills on the House floor.
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has engaged and participated in the process, whether meeting with me or by testifying in committee. Your voice and opinion are a vital part of the legislative process.
As we prepare to vote on the hundreds of House bills that progressed out of committee, I want to update you on a couple of my bills.
Vocational educational programs in agriculture, food, and natural resources
In 2021, I introduced House Bill 1544. This bill would reconstitute the vocational agriculture education service area program of the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) as a program in the agriculture, food, and natural resource career cluster. Career and technical education are essential for our students to explore career options and gain basic academic support and life skills.
Even though this bill was introduced in 2021, it's still active under Concurrent Resolution 4405. This is an important bill and an issue near and dear to my heart. I am grateful the House Education Committee considered my bill.
Child care access for children with special needs and disabilities
Parents across Washington state are experiencing a child care access crisis. Accessible child care is an issue for working-class families in every corner of our region and across the state. It is even more difficult for parents with children who have disabilities to find child care options to accommodate their particular needs.
My House Bill 2082 would help increase the availability, affordability, and accessibility of child care for families with children with disabilities. A liaison position would help create access and bridge the gap for families providing proper childcare.
Many children with disabilities are refused child care because providers do not offer the required accommodations. The assessment required in my bill should examine why the accommodations are not happening and whether the state needs to do more to support compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
I thank the House Children, Youth and Families Committee for understanding the importance of my bill and the real solution it brings to an increasing problem.
Update on emergency powers reform and bringing balance back to Olympia
Washington state is one of only four states in the nation that hands over unilateral authority to the governor to declare and maintain a state of emergency. During a prolonged state of emergency, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the legislative branch – which represents YOUR VOICE – has a minimal role in determining the policies set forth by the executive branch.
For over 700 days, we have been under the executive branch's control – and more specifically, the governor. The number one issue you believe the Legislature should tackle this session is to bring back the balance of power to Olympia.
As you will recall, Republicans have been calling for reform for more than a year and have presented several real solutions to restore the legislative voice into the decision-making process. Our pleas, concerns, and frustrations have gone mostly ignored.
I have good news to give on the push to reform and limit the governor's emergency powers.
In the House State Government and Tribal Relations Committee this week, my colleague Rep. Chris Corry of Yakima testified on his House Bill 1772. His legislation would:
- The state of emergency will be terminated 60 days after being signed by the governor unless extended by the Legislature by a concurrent resolution.
- Prohibits the governor from reinstating the same or substantively similar state of emergency when the original has expired.
- When needed, multiple extensions of an state of emergency may be issued by the Legislature; or, when the Legislature is not in session, by unanimous agreement of all four leaders of the House and Senate.
- Requires clarification of changes to the law made through an executive proclamation; all such changes must be defined and shown fully in the law, along with any changes made over time.
THANK YOU to everyone who signed up to testify in support of this bill. Over 5,200 concerned citizens came forward to let their voices be heard on this critical issue.
Please visit this website for more information on this bill and all the Republican efforts to limit the governor's emergency powers authority.
The links below are good resources to keep you up-to-date and informed.
- Visit my legislative Facebook page | Representative Brad Klippert
- Visit my website | Representative Brad Klippert
- Visit the Washington State House Republicans website
- Follow Washington State House Republicans on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram
- Sign-up for The Current | The Washington State House Republicans newsletter
- Sign-up for The Capitol Buzz | A daily summary of online news from across the state, highlighting policies, politics, and other issues that affect Washingtonians
- Bookmark The Ledger | Washington State House Republicans news aggregator
- NEW! Sign-up for text alerts from Washington State House Republicans | We are trying something new this year. Our text alert system allows you to sign in for text alerts as another way to stay updated on what's happening in the Legislature.
As always, thank you for the opportunity and the honor to serve you, your family, and our communities as your State Representative.
May God richly bless you all!