Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The Gonzaga University and Whitworth University men’s basketball teams continue to roll and are nationally ranked once again this week. The Zags are the number 3 team in the country and Whitworth finished their regular season ranked 8th in all of Division III Men’s Basketball. Congrats Zags and Pirates!
This Monday, I had the pleasure of having my family join me in Olympia for the annual House of Representative’s Children’s Day. It was such a special moment as a father to have my three little ones join me at my desk in the House chambers to sing a few children’s songs and hear a resolution honoring them! It was also a great reminder of what we do here is about tomorrow.
Lately, we have heard a lot of rhetoric on the national and state level about increasing the minimum wage. There seems to be a common misconception that bolstering the minimum wage will result in more jobs for more people. According to a 2011 report from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, only 0.66 percent of full-time workers in the U.S. earn minimum wage. It truly is time to get past the rhetoric and pass legislation that we as House Republicans have proposed that will create jobs and opportunity for our friends and neighbors. You can read about our solutions here. We need to give small businesses more tools to be able to hire more workers, not make it harder for them to help grow our economy.
Recently, a bill came across my desk that I thought I could help improve. House Bill 1292 would add protections for young children under the age of 18, who may have been victims of human trafficking but in the process were convicted of prostitution. The bill originally addressed vacating prostitution convictions for those found to be victims of trafficking or promoting prostitution. The amendment I offered, which was accepted and passed by the committee, will add commercial sexual abuse of a minor to the list of offenses which could be vacated. This will make sure that underage children who may have been forced into prostitution will not be punished, but will get the rehabilitation they deserve.
It is an honor to serve you. Please contact me anytime.
421 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7922 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000