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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. Drew Stokesbary and me for our virtual town hall on Saturday, Jan. 22. 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 also want to thank everyone who took the time to fill out my brief survey. Your input is invaluable. Here are the results.

Question 1: What do you believe is the top priority the Legislature should address during the 2022 session? (The responses are in order from the most important to the least important.)

  1. Increasing public safety (hiring more police officers, increasing police department budgets, etc.)
  2. Enacting legislation to bring back a balance of power in Olympia (reform the governor's emergency powers)
  3. Lowering your cost of living (reduce your tax burden, cost of health care, etc.)
  4. Addressing transportation (congestion, gas prices, fixing roads and bridges, etc.)
  5. Improving the quality of K-12 education, special education, etc.
  6. Improving programs to prevent drug addictions and assist with recovery
  7. Providing better care for the chronically homeless and mentally ill
  8. Increasing the supply of affordable housing

Question 2: Would you support legislation to fix the police reform bills passed last year?

  • Yes – 84%
  • No – 10%
  • Other – 6%

Question 3: Regarding the long-term care insurance program and payroll tax, what do you support?

  • Full repeal of the program and tax – 77%
  • Fixes to the program and tax – 15%
  • No changes – 4%
  • Not sure – 4%

If you were unable to attend the virtual town hall or take the survey but have a question or comment, please get in touch with me. You can find my contact information at the bottom of this email.

Policy Update

This week marked the third week of our 60-day session. Our primary focus right now is learning about, debating, and ultimately moving legislation out of committee. This session, I serve on the Commerce and Gaming Committee (as the assistant ranking Republican), the Transportation Committee (as one of the assistant ranking Republicans), the Local Government Committee, and the Rules Committee.

In my last e-newsletter, I provided details on House Bill 1732, which postpones the long-term care insurance program and payroll tax by 18-months. I supported this policy. On Tuesday, I recorded a video update discussing this vote and other information on this issue. You can watch it here or by clicking on the photo below.

I want to take this opportunity to update you on the status of legislation I have sponsored in 2022.

  • House Bill 1788 – Allowing law enforcement officers to engage in vehicular pursuits. The House Public Safety Committee heard this bill on Tuesday, Jan. 18. I am hopeful it will move out of this committee and onto the House floor for a full chamber vote. I will keep you posted.
  • House Bill 1971 – Concerning installation, inspection, testing, and maintenance of smoke control systems, fire dampers, and combination fire and smoke dampers. The House Local Government Committee heard this bill on Wednesday, Jan. 19. I am hopeful it will also move out of committee and onto the House floor for a full chamber vote. I will keep you posted on the progress.
  • House Bill 2029 – Concerning the safety and security of retail cannabis outlets. The House Public Safety Committee has not scheduled this bill for a public hearing.

Given your survey results above, I believe you will find that my priorities coincide with your thoughts on the top issues facing the Legislature. My House Republican colleagues and I have introduced legislation hoping to remedy or fix many pressing issues.

Priority: Strengthening communities by making public safety a priority and supporting effective community policing

  • The Republican Safe Washington Plan – A suite of bills prioritizing public safety; supporting law enforcement; preventing crime and property crimes; putting victims and public safety first; addressing State v. Blake and the decriminalization of drugs; and fixing the Department of Corrections.
  • House Bill 1656 – Protecting retailers from theft
  • House Bill 1737 – Restoring balance and common sense to police reform
  • House Bill 1787 – Putting more police officers on the streets (Rep. Drew Stokesbary is the prime sponsor of this bill. I am the secondary co-sponsor.)
  • House Bill 1788 – Allowing law enforcement officers to engage in vehicular pursuits (I am the prime sponsor of this bill.)

Priority: Holding state government accountable, improving outcomes, and enacting emergency powers reform

  • House Bill 1772 – Adopting emergency powers reform
  • Transportation solutions – Instead of raising taxes, this suite of bills reprioritizes our current budget surplus to help pay for transportation projects and programs
  • House Bill 1541 – Increasing funding to cities for homelessness solutions
  • House Bill 1177 – Implementing the periodic review of state spending programs

Priority: Providing tax relief and making life more affordable for all Washingtonians

Priority: Empowering parents by providing transparency to help their children succeed in school and life

Please click here for more information on our priorities and a complete list and description of our bills.

Resources and important links

I hope you will bookmark, save, and share the links below.

It's an honor to serve you.

In your service,

Eric Robertson

State Representative Eric Robertson, 31st Legislative District
465 John L. O’Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7866 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000