Dear Friends and Neighbors,
January has come and gone, and Washington state's 66th legislative session is well underway. We are in week four, and let me tell you, this is going to be an interesting session. We have already seen over a thousand bills introduced. It's not about the quantity of bills coming forward, but the quality of what's being proposed.
In this legislative update, I will bring you up to speed on some of the things I've been working on, the bad policies I've been fighting against, and things to be on the look out for as session continues to roll along.
Introducing common-sense solutions for real change
Washington state is a part-time citizen Legislature. For many of us, being a state representative isn't our only job. For over 25 years, I have been a small business owner in the property management sector. I'm one of a very select few lawmakers on the Hill who have dedicated their life's work to the housing industry.
Housing affordability and decreasing supply is one of the key components to the current housing crisis our state is facing. The majority party is continuing to push for more extreme regulatory burdens as their solution to this issue. This approach is actually diminishing our housing supply even further, pushing away landlords and small property management businesses, and increasing eviction rates. I can't wrap my head around their agenda, and how it's providing any actual solutions to this crisis. That is why I've introduced a common-sense solution known as the “eviction prevention package” to actually make a difference.
For more detailed information on my proposals, please listen to a recent KELA radio interview I did with Peter Abbarno. You can listen by clicking on the photo below.
You can also read my press release by clicking here.
Fighting against terrible policy aimed directly at small business
Recently, Olympia saw an amazing grassroots movement take over the hearing rooms, hallways, and walkways of the Capitol campus. Hairdressers, cosmetologists, and salon owners came together to let their voices be heard over a policy that was aimed at destroying their industry.
The reality behind Senate Bill 5326 would have changed independent contractors into actual employees, taking away the freedoms, independence and livelihood so many depend on to support their families.
When people can unite, stand up for what they believe in, and take their voices directly to the decision makers, change will happen. I want to thank everyone who had the courage to come to Olympia to testify and who took the time to contact my office to voice your concerns. Your voices were heard loud and clear! This bill is dead in its tracks and will not move forward this session.
I urge you to continue coming forward and voicing your opinion on those policies, good or bad, that affect you, your families, and your businesses the most.
I will continue to fight against the assault on small business owners, workers and businesses that we are experiencing in this current political climate. This bill was just one example of the terrible policies being introduced, and a direct reflection of what's to come.
What current work is being done? | Committee work and budget preparation
During these early weeks of session, most of our time is spent in committee meetings. To learn more about the work I'm doing as the ranking member on the House Transportation Committee, and to get a brief update on where my eviction prevention package currently is in the legislative process, please watch the latest edition of the Barkis Breakdown. You can view the video by clicking on the photo below.
Things to come | Upcoming 2nd District town hall meeting
Please join me in the 2nd District for town hall weekend in mid-March. This is your opportunity to chat about the concerns and questions you have, directly with me. I look forward to this time with you. Please keep an eye out in future updates for the dates, times and locations of these events. Further details to follow.
It's an honor to serve you!