Announcing the 2015 Stevens County Republicans Lincoln Day Dinner!
Join your friends and neighbors for a wonderful prime rib or salmon dinner and listen to our fantastic keynote speakers, Ken Ivory, Utah State Legislator and President of the American Lands Council, and Bill Bryant, Seattle Port Commissioner and potential Republican candidate for Governor. And don’t forget, you’ll have the chance to win several great door prizes and auction items!
Individual Tickets and Tables are on sale now, so contact SCRCC Treasurer Lois Hollabaugh at 509-684-5391 or download and return your own invitation and response sheet here (click both links):
We are officially past the midway point of the 105-day legislative session. The House worked into the evenings most of this week and was able to pass several bills.
Next week will include House floor and committee action. Our next legislative deadline is March 11 — house of origin cutoff. To find out what is dead or alive in the legislative process, please visit this updated list.
Do you support a transportation tax package?
The Senate passed a transportation tax package Monday, and eight transportation reforms last Friday. You can find the details in the story below.
We have been hearing from constituents on this issue, including many who are not in favor of raising the state gas tax. We would like to hear directly from you. Please consider taking this short survey.
It is the House Democrats’ turn to produce the first operating budget proposal this year. They have said they plan to release their 2015-17 spending plan by March 23. With the revenue forecast being moved up to February, both the House and Senate have the information they need to move forward with proposals. We look forward to seeing what the House Democrats bring forward.
The good lady from the 25th District
It is not every day a major newspaper writes a feature story on one of our members. But it happened this week. The Seattle Times profiled 24-year-old Rep. Melanie Stambaugh Tuesday. You can find the story here.
BELLEVUE, WA, February 22 – The Chairman of the Washington State Republican Party, Susan Hutchison, released the following statement:
“This week I attended a meeting of college administrators and funders at which Seattle Mayor Ed Murray made this preposterous statement: ‘Most of the Republicans in the State Senate do not have college degrees…’ which is why, he claimed, the state’s investment in higher education has declined over the past decades.
“Mr. Mayor, go to the blackboard and write ‘I will not tell a lie’ 100 times!
“FACT: The Democrats, not the Republicans have been in control of Washington State’s education funding for the past 30 years. For most of that era (during which Ed Murray also served 18 years as a legislator), the Democrats controlled the House and the Senate in total support of their Democratic governors. The skyrocketing cost of college tuition, the lax efforts to prepare our K-12 kids for college and jobs, and the rising power of the state’s education unions (to the detriment of student-learning), all fall squarely on the shoulders of the Democrats!
“FACT: The Majority Coalition Caucus, which gave control of the Senate to Republicans in 2013, froze college tuition last year for the first time in 30 years, and put $1 billion into education – without raising taxes. This year, Senate Republicans are working on another unprecedented investment in K-12 and are reversing the Democrats’ years of defunding higher ed.
“But what about the Mayor’s assertion that ‘MOST’ of the Republicans in the Senate don’t have college degrees? The mayor gets an ‘F’ in arithmetic.
“FACT: 19 of the 26 members of the caucus have college degrees, and 13 have advanced degrees. Republicans have degrees in math, physics, ocean engineering, environmental policy, public administration, economics, electrical engineering, pharmacy, business and law. Prestigious schools such as Harvard, the Wharton School at Penn, the Air Force and Naval Academies, and (of course) Washington’s top universities, are alma maters of our GOP State Senators. Those without college degrees have AA degrees and professional certifications. And certainly there is room in our representative government for some elected officals who didn’t finish college but are fighting for that opportunity for others.
“Don’t be a dunce, Mr. Mayor. When it comes to education, the GOP stands with students, parents and the taxpayers who foot the bills!”
Press Release from Susan Hutchinson, Chair of WSRP
Stevens County Commissioner Wes McCart stands outside a hearing room Feb 18 on the Capitol Campus in Olympia after telling a House committee that northeast Washington counties are preparing to take action if state game managers fail to curb livestock predation by wolves.
OLYMPIA — A Stevens County commissioner Wednesday told legislators that northeast Washington counties may intervene to stop predation by wolves if state wildlife managers fail to protect livestock.
“If you don’t come up with a solution, we will come up with our own solution,” the commissioner, Wes McCart, told the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.
McCart said later in an interview that county commissioners have talked with county prosecutors about what they can do to manage wolves.
“It’s not an idle threat,” he said. “I have folks who cry almost everyday because of their losses, and that’s not going to continue.”
McCart didn’t outline a plan of action, but he said he’s been asked before about specifics.
“My answer is, we will take the appropriate action at the appropriate time, and it will be legal,” he said. “We know that if we don’t — if we go off by ourselves — it puts us in a defensive position and vulnerable to a lawsuit.
“We will declare a defensible action,” he said. “We don’t just shoot from the hip.”
With time running out on this session for wolf-related legislation, northeast Washington legislators are making a last push for relief from wolves killing sheep and cattle.
“I can’t go back home and tell people we’re not going to do anything for a year or two,” Okanogan County Rep. Joel Kretz said. “Social acceptance (of wolves) in my district started low and has plummeted.”
Kretz’s proposals to take wolves in northeast Washington off the state’s endangered species list or transfer wolves closer to Western Washington to hasten recovery don’t have enough support in Olympia.
More recently, he introduced House Bill 2107, which would require the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to reopen the state’s wolf recovery plan and measure the plan’s success by counting packs instead of breeding pairs.
Kretz said the plan needs to be reconsidered because wolves have packed his corner of the state, but not the entire state. Until, wolves are more widely distributed, they will remain a protected species, according to the recovery plan.
WDFW supports the bill, but it’s opposed by environmental groups. Defenders of Wildlife Northwest representative Elizabeth Ruther told lawmakers they should let the current plan play out. A citizens’ advisory group already gives the department guidance on wolf recovery, she said. “We respectfully think this is the wrong time for the this bill.”
The House committee took no action on the bill. The deadline for policy bills to pass the committees they were assigned to is Friday. The legislation could also stay alive if the Senate Natural Resources and Parks Committee passes an identical bill introduced by Ferry County Sen. Brian Dansel.
Films highlight challenges with environmental movement
A free showing of the movies “Crying Wolf” and “Blue” by film maker JD King will be held in Chewelah and Colville next week, Feb. 24 and 25.
The film “Crying Wolf” about the wolf reintroduction into Yellowstone National Park and the effects of the reintroduction on the Western States will be shown at the Chewelah Senior Center, located at 204 E. Main, on Tues., Feb. 24, at 6:30pm.
The film “Blue”, which portrays some of the dire challenges posed by the environmental movement, will be shown the following night, Wed., Feb. 25, at the Ag Trade Center, located at 317 W. Astor, in Colville at 6:30pm.
JD King will be at both events to answer questions about the films. To view trailers of the films or for more information, visit www.bluebeatsgreen.com.
“The use of force without authority always puts him that uses it into a state of war as the aggressor, and renders him liable to be treated accordingly.” John Locke and C. B. Macpherson, ed., Second Treatise of Government, (1980)