Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I've received such great feedback from many of you regarding our recent 6th District town hall that I've decided to have another event next week. Please join me on Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 6:30 p.m. by calling toll-free 1-800-762-4976. I hope you can join us as we discuss the issues facing us in Olympia, Spokane and around the state.
Federal spending fell 6.6% between June 2012 and December 2013 and the budget deficit fell from 8.0% of GDP in 2011 to 3.3% in 2013. To many, this should have hurt the economy. Instead, private sector real GDP grew 5.1% at an annual rate in the second half of 2013, while private sector nominal GDP grew at a 6.7% pace. As government spending fell, private sector activity accelerated. A good reminder that entrepreneurship creates wealth, not government.
Also, this year I am more involved than in years past in the budget process and negotiations, which is occupying a lot of my time. I visited a state agency this week (The Chief Information Officer) to see how their budget requests are made and the process they go through before requesting more tax dollars. It has been an interesting experience.
House Bill 1791 cracks down on human trafficking by allowing law enforcement and prosecutors to come at human trafficking from both sides: the labor standpoint and the prostitution standpoint. It makes any trafficking that includes a sex act a sex offense. As a result, the perpetrator would have to register as a sex offender. This is significant given that organized crime is involved. My bill passed the House Judiciary Committee this week and is now in the House Rules Committee.
To view my testimony in committee, click here and scroll forward to the 18:05 mark on the counter.
I was very pleased to have Miss Washington USA, Allyson Rowe from Spokane, as a guest this week in Olympia. She is the first Miss USA from Spokane to compete in the Miss USA pageant. Allyson's work combating human trafficking is commendable. She has started the Esther Generation Foundation which rescues women and children from the sex trade industry. If you would like to read the resolution I sponsored honoring Allyson for her work, click here.
Last week, former Rep. Robert F. Goldsworthy passed away. Rep. Goldsworthy was born in Spokane and represented the 9th Legislative District (which, at the time, contained much of today's 6th Legislative District) from 1957 to 1973. He served our country with distinction in the United States Air Force during World War II and the Korean War, retiring as a Brigadier General in 1977. Thank you, Rep. Goldsworthy, for your service, dedication and leadership.
As always feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns about state government. It is an honor to serve you in Olympia.
421 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7922 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000