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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

To say we are living in extraordinary times might be a bit of an understatement. The past several months have included enormous challenges for individuals, families, and communities. 

Putting limits on the governor's emergency powers

Some of the biggest effects of the pandemic-induced government shutdowns have been on businesses, resulting in over one million Washingtonians filing for unemployment. Small businesses are closing for good, too many public school campuses are closed, and suicide rates are rising. Hard-pressed individuals and businesses deserve help.  

Don't extraordinary times call for extraordinary action? 

In the ten months since the onslaught of COVID-19, why hasn't the governor reconvened the Legislature for a special session? Despite pressure from both Republican and Democratic lawmakers, the governor has ignored all requests to reconvene, while continuing to impose restrictions on major parts of our economy. 

With the regularly scheduled 105-day legislative session beginning today, should lawmakers consider putting more of a check on the governor's emergency authority?

Zoom meeting

Join me for a discussion on this topic via Zoom at 12 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 14. Click here to register. Please keep in mind, we can only accommodate the first 500 attendees, so register early!

Virtual session

This legislative session will be unlike any other before it. The state Capitol, closed for months now because of the pandemic, will remain shut to the public throughout the legislative session. Rather than meeting in person, lawmakers will do the people's work through teleconferencing tools such as Zoom. 

There are many concerns about meeting this way; but, after much preparatory work, practice and dress rehearsals, virtual floor sessions and committee meetings begin today. 

Staying informed and connected

Keeping you informed during this virtual session is a top priority for me. Along with answering emails, phone calls and attending Zoom meetings, I'll be scheduling large group constituent meetings, like the one above, and sending email updates.

Here are a few other ways you can stay informed on the work of the Legislature:

My legislative website | Here you will find my contact information, bio, news releases, email updates, videos, opinion pieces, bills, and other information. 
The Capitol Buzz | A weekday roundup of online news stories. Click on the link to subscribe. 
The Current | An online legislative publication from the Washington House Republicans. Click the link to subscribe.
TVW | The state's own version of C-SPAN, TVW broadcasts floor and committee action live online.
The Ledger | A legislative news aggregator.
Legislature's website | Bill reports, committee agendas, and information about upcoming activities at the Legislature.
State agencies | You can find a list of all state agencies, boards, and commissions here.

Tracking a bill?

Click here to find information on specific bills. In addition, when you visit my website you can easily view the legislation I'm sponsoring or co-sponsoring by clicking “Sponsored Bills.”

Here is a quick set of “bill tracking” instructions

  • Go to leg.wa.gov
  • On the left-hand panel, click “Bill Information.”
  • If you know the bill number, enter it in the search field and hit enter.
  • Don't have a bill number? Under the section “Standard Reports,” you'll find alternative tracking tools. You can search based on topic, legislative digests, cross-references and/or within a specific biennium.
  • If you click on the House Floor Calendar, this helpful tool gives you a detailed list of all bills scheduled to be heard on the House floor each day.

Need more information? Please reach out to me directly if you need more details on specific bills or key public policy proposals.

Remote Testimony

Let your voice be heard! Want to testify on a bill or other important public policy? Here are links that will help you do that:

Committee assignments

Many of our foundational individual rights are under attack these days. Washingtonians should not be forced to trade essential liberty for loose talk of temporary security.

In times like these, I'm honored that my colleagues have selected me as the lead Republican for the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee, which considers a wide variety of legal issues. I will honor their trust by relentlessly defending the foundational rights promised to all of us. 

Along with the Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee, I will serve as the assistant ranking Republican on both the House Education and State Government and Tribal Relations committees. Both assignments put me on the front lines on some of the most controversial topics facing the Legislature: getting our kids safely back in school and considering policy related to our elections. I look forward to doing the hard work both those tasks require.

And finally, I will continue as a member of the House Transportation Committee—helping to preserve and expand Washington's transportation infrastructure without adding additional tax burdens on the working people of the state. 

Thank you!

If there is a constant in these changing times, it's this: I'm committed to serving you. Contact me any time if you have questions, comments, or concerns about legislative issues. 

Sincerely,


Jim Walsh

State Representative Jim Walsh, 19th Legislative District
RepresentativeJimWalsh.com
428 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
jim.walsh@leg.wa.gov
(360) 485-0547 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000