Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Hello from Olympia, where we are in the ninth week of the 2013 legislative session.
I wanted to let you know about an opportunity for you to participate in town halls held throughout the 10th District on Saturday, March 16. The town halls serve as a forum for Rep. Smith and I to speak to you about the progress and developments of the 2013 legislative session.
These will be my first town halls as your 10th District Representative and I'm really looking forward to meeting with families in our community. I know full well that people are struggling to make ends meet and now more than ever I want to hear your ideas regarding the services the state provides. I am dedicated to the notion that these services be provided within existing means. Here is my schedule for that day:
- 9:00-10:00 a.m. Stanwood Community & Senior Center –Center Social Room
7430 276th Street NW, Stanwood, WA 98292
- 1:00-2:00 p.m. La Conner Middle School-Commons
305 N 6th Street, La Conner, WA 98257
- 4:00-5:00 p.m. Coupeville Library
788 NW Alexander Street, Coupeville, WA 98239
Park in the lower municipal gravel lot
I hope to see you there!
Veteran recognition and visitors
Wednesday marked the cutoff for all bills introduced in the House to be considered by all 98 members of the House of Representatives. It was also an important day because I had visitors from the 10th District present the colors for the Pledge of Allegiance and our national anthem in the House chamber. Members of the Frank H. Hancock American Legion Post in Stanwood participated in the prestigious patriotic event.
In addition, I had one of my veteran bills pass the House unanimously. House Bill 1132 would extend the eligibility of Gold Star License Plates from parents of fallen soldiers to include spouses of veterans killed in action. I included an amendment which would allow the children of our fallen men and women to be eligible to apply for a Gold Star License Plates.
I believe spouses and children should have the option of honoring the memory of their husband, wife or parent by displaying the Gold Star License Plate. I am happy to see this bill move forward in the legislative process.
House Bill 1588 universal background checks
I have heard from many of you about House Bill 1588. I am very happy that this bill failed to gain the support necessary to be heard on the House floor. But rest assured that if it had, I would have voted “no”.
This bill does not address the root causes of gun violence – including mental health, and criminals access to weapons. We must be realistic and honest about our problems and solutions. I do not believe that this bill would have led us to a solution.
As a law enforcement officer, I know Washington state has strong gun laws, we need to focus on enforcing existing laws. I truly believe that to address gun violence in our state we must focus on those people who would turn guns against others. House Bill 1588 focused on the people who will acquire guns by legal means, not those who gain access to weapons illegally. Simply put, this proposal focuses on the wrong people in our society.
Over the interim, I intend to pull the appropriate stakeholders together to take a more thoughtful and complete look at the issue of mental health services as they relate to gun violence as well as the issue of school safety and security. I intend to introduce legislation in the 2014 session that will address these issues.
In closing, it is an honor to serve you. I always welcome hearing from the people of our district so I can learn more about your thoughts and perspectives on various issues. If I may be of assistance, please contact my office.