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    The Senate passed a bill April 13 addressing how the state responds to wildfires after the failures of the massive Carlton Complex Fire in northeast Washington.

    House Bill 2093, sponsored by Rep. Joel Kretz, would:

    • allow locals to access state land to help put out a fire without being held liable by the state,
    • require the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to coordinate and share a list of locals who are qualified to fight fires and enter into agreements with them to use locals first during a fire, and
    • require the Commissioner of Public Lands to appoint both a fire liaison who will      represent landowners and the public during a fire, and a Fire Advisory Committee to advise the commissioner on fire activities.

    “I’m pleased with the DNR’s response to the many concerns brought to them by our communities after the Carlton Complex Fire and years of inadequate response to wildfires,” said Kretz, R-Wauconda. “This legislation represents collaboration between the DNR and legislators to ensure we change the culture around fighting a fire to more than just managing a fire, but putting it out, and empowering regular citizens to help.”

    The new liaison and committee would cost the state an additional $1 million in the 2015-17 operating budget. The Senate amended the bill to include a null and void clause, which means if funding is not provided in the final agreed-upon budget for the proposal, the bill does not become law.

    The proposal passed the Senate unanimously and now goes back to the House for concurrence on the change made in the Senate. If the House agrees with the Senate’s amendments, the bill would go to the governor’s office for his signature.

    The 2015 session is scheduled to adjourn Sunday, April 26.

    For more information about Rep. Kretz, visit: www.representativejoelkretz.com.


  • The Stevens County Republican Central Committee was pleased to welcome Congresswoman Cathy McMoriss Rodgers to the April meeting.   Thanks for coming Cathy!

    CMR at SCRCC April 2015

     

     


  • Dear Friends and Neighbors,

    We’re nearing the homestretch of the 2015 legislative session.  Both the House and Senate have passed their respective budget proposals (more on that below) and negotiations are ongoing.  Much of our time now is spent on the House floor voting and debating legislation.  In my new role as Caucus Chair, I’m responsible for organizing our caucus meetings, keeping things on track as we debate the merits of bills, and helping form our overall strategy to get our legislation through the process or to kill bad bills.  It’s been a fun but very busy time.Rep. Shelly Short at work in her office in the Legislative Building

    As the session progresses, our “dead/alive” bill list is continually updated.  You can click here to look at some of the major issues.

    I want to thank you for your constant flow of letters, phone calls and e-mails.  Hearing your thoughts and concerns helps me represent you and assists me in making my point to other legislators, especially those from the West side of the state.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used your examples – your stories – when debating or conversing with my colleagues in the House and Senate.  Your voice is heard every day in Olympia!

    Budget Update The House Democrats recently released their 2015-17 operating budget proposal.  In a nutshell, it raises taxes by $1.5 billion and increases state spending from $33.8 billion (2013-15) to $38.9 billion!  That’s a 15 percent increase!  When you look at the required four-year outlook, their budget only leaves $4 million in reserves for the 2017-19 biennium and raises spending to $43 billion!  That’s almost a $10 billion spending increase in just six years.

    I believe this to be unsustainable, unpredictable and unwise.  I’m not about to support a budget that takes more tax dollars from struggling workers and families.  With about $3 billion more in tax collections expected in this budget cycle (nearly a 9 percent increase) there should be plenty of tax dollars to fund education, keep our communities safe, and take care of the priorities expected of us by the citizens back home.House Democrat budget proposal

    If you want to watch my video update where I talk about the House Democrat budget, click here.

    If you want to watch a quick video of one my colleagues, Rep. Matt Manweller, explaining in detail why we don’t need the House Democrat’s tax increases, and what those increases would do, click here.  Rep. Manweller is currently a Professor of Political Science at Central Washington University where he teaches Political Economy, Constitutional Law and classes for the William O. Douglas Honors College.

    What’s even more galling about their proposal is the fact that they declined (for political reasons) to take votes on – and pass – the tax increases necessary to fund their budget.  It was just a wish list of spending.  But they refused to put their money where their mouths are and declined to take votes on their massive tax increases.  Frankly, there will never be enough revenue to match their spending.  The House Democrat budget shows no restraint.  I joined with all of my House Republican colleagues and voted no on this budget proposal.

    The Senate Majority Coalition Caucus also passed their budget proposal.  While I don’t agree with everything it contains, it appears to be a much more balanced approach.  It does NOT contain the $1.5 billion in tax increases like the House Democrat budget.  And, for the first time since the 1970s, it actually reduces college tuition by 25 percent!  It also leaves more in reserves to account for economic ups and downs.

    To watch my video update where I talk about the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus budget proposal, click here.

    As I said, with both chambers passing their budget proposals, the negotiations are really starting to heat up.  With just over two weeks left in this 105-day session, there is still plenty of time to finish ON TIME!  There is no reason to spend extra tax dollars on a special session.

    Rep. Shelly Short testifies on one of her bills in committeeMy Bills My bill to keep Northeast Washington from being segmented off into its own “climate zone” for building code purposes has passed both the House and Senate unanimously.  House Bill 1011 now goes to the governor for his signature.

    My bill to study the impacts wolves are having on our region’s ungulate (deer, elk, moose) populations passed through the Senate Natural Resources and Parks Committee as well as the Senate Ways and Means Committee.  It is now in the Senate Rules Committee.  I’m hopeful House Bill 1676 will pass the Senate in the next week.

    Carbon tax (cap and trade) dead for the session? It appears so.  Even the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives couldn’t pass Gov. Inslee’s onerous carbon tax proposal.  Knowing this governor and his passion for ideological environmentalism, I have no doubt he’ll bring this around the Legislature again in the future.  But for now, it appears families will be protected from his carbon tax that would raise the price of electricity, fuel, food, and certain goods and services.

    However, many of us believe the governor is waiting until the Legislature adjourns before he implements, through executive order, a low carbon fuel standard for Washington state.  Rep. Shelly Short on the House floor during the flag ceremonyThis could dramatically increase the price of gas in our state and has not proven effective or even fully implementable in California.  I’ll continue to fight this effort even when the Legislature is not in session.  Stay tuned.

    Thank you for reading my e-newsletter and for staying involved.  It is a privilege and an honor to serve you in Olympia.

    Sincerely, Shelly Short

    State Representative Shelly Short

  • There are TWO public hearings which will be held on
    Thursday April 2, 2015 at 9:30 am and also at 6:00 pm
    Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency (SRCAA)
    3104 E. Augusta Avenue, Spokane, WA (north of the County Courthouse)

    The public comment period has been extended an extra week through April 10.

    The proposed Clean Air Plan for Spokane County allows air quality managers to issue burn bans at a lower threshold to help improve overall air quality. It also contains updated criteria for individuals to obtain an exemption to use solid-fuel burning devices during a burn ban.

    After the public comment period has closed and comments have been reviewed, Ecology will submit the plan to the Environmental Protection Agency for approval. Once approved, the plan will be added to the statewide plan for protecting air quality.

    These hearings on April 2nd are sponsored by the Department of Ecology.

    These are two documents that are the ‘Updated Clean Air Plan’ (updated since the plan was revised and implemented last September for managing pollution from solid-fuel burning devices like wood stoves, fireplaces, pellet stoves and fireplace inserts to protect air quality and public health in Spokane County:

    http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/air/sips/pdfs/PbNO2O3SIPdraft.pdf
    and
    http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/air/sips/pdfs/PM25InterstateSIPforPublicComment.pdf

    ALL counties in Washington State are being directed to comply with the Federal (EPA) requirement to comply with a ‘State Implementation Plan’. Once the ‘State Implementation Plan’ is in place any changes or modification to the Air Quality Standards will come from the EPA, to the State, to each County.

    Submitted by Adam Pope


  • 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):

    LDD INVITELDD Invite Page 2

    LDD INVITELDD Invite Page 2

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