Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We are heading into Week 5 of the 2017 legislative session. You know the pace is picking up when we have seen our first round of bills come to the House floor for vote.
I have anticipated the day I would pass my first legislation. I am pleased to announce my first bill was among the bills passed late last week in a unanimous 98-0 vote. House Bill 1027 would modify licensing requirements for resident and nonresident surplus line insurance brokers. This is a straightforward bill that simply cleans up the surplus line broker licensing statute, including the reciprocity with other states. The bill incorporates existing Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) rules into statute. The bill now moves to the Senate for further consideration.
You can find information about the bills I have sponsored, and co-sponsored, by clicking here. I will continue to keep you posted on the progress of my bills, and the impacts they have to our district.
Welcome to the 'Barkis Breakdown.' This current video 'breakdown' dives into the current education plans on the table. Simply click on the photo below to watch. Thank you.
For more detailed information on the proposed education plans, please continue reading this legislative update.
In the coming weeks, we will focus on the final components to McCleary. We continue to meet, discuss and refine our solutions. The first idea brought to the table was House Bill 1059 proposing to extend school levy cliffs for another year. I voted against this bill because it is only a temporary solution. We must plan for success to provide a permanent solution.
The second idea brought forward, one I supported, was House Bill 1021, also known as Fund Education First. This would have been an amendment to House rules. This is a budget solution House Republicans have supported since 2006. It would change the state's budget process and require the Legislature to pass a separate K-12 education budget before any other appropriations. This approach would elevate K-12 education to the highest priority in the budgeting process. Democrats rejected the amendment on a party-line vote, 50-48.
The Senate Majority Coalition Caucus (MCC) brought a comprehensive plan to the table. Senate Bill 5607 would provide ample, dependable and equitable funding for all students in the state. This is a student-centered plan. It would set goals and focus on better outcomes. It would demand accountability and transform failing schools. The plan would provide for more local control, especially when it comes to attracting and retaining teachers. Through this plan, 2nd District schools will receive more state funding. The district will also see a relief in property taxes. This is a complex issue, and like any bill, we will need to work our way through it. Every step of the way we must think of what the impacts will be on our local school districts and you, the taxpayer. House Republicans will bring forward a plan soon. The end result will be a hybrid of the proposals that continue to move forward.
New to you this session, my bi-weekly Podcasts! Join me and listen to the series.
Thank you for taking the time to read my legislative email updates. Please feel free to share these updates with your friends and family and encourage them to subscribe.
As your voice in Olympia, I am most effective when I hear the issues, concerns and questions directly from you. I welcome you to share your thoughts with me on the information covered in this update, and any other issues important to you, your family, and your business. Please feel free to call my office at (360) 786-7824, or email me.
It's an honor to serve you.