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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

It’s hard to believe the 2024 session is already entering its final weeks. On Tuesday, Feb. 13, we reached the house of origin cutoff, meaning that was the last day bills could be voted out of their respective chamber. After a week and a half of more committee meetings to consider bills from the Senate, we’ll head back to the floor for more voting, which will wrap up on March 7.

Please Join Us for Our Virtual Town Hall

Before I give you a recap on my bills and some of the other important issues going on, I wanted to let you know about our upcoming 17th District virtual town hall on Thursday, Feb. 22. I will be joining my seatmates, Sen. Lynda Wilson and Rep. Kevin Waters for this meeting held on the Zoom platform.

This will be a great opportunity for you to connect directly with us to share your ideas and concerns. We work hard to represent you and make sure your voices are heard in Olympia as we tackle the many important issues facing Washington.

Those who wish to participate in the meeting must register for the event online by clicking here. Space is limited so be sure to sign up soon.

During this town hall, we will provide updates on various legislation and initiatives, and we’ll be available to answer your questions and listen to your feedback. Please join us next Thursday on Zoom.

Two Bills Approved by The House

Now for a quick update on my two bills that have passed the House and moved one step closer to becoming law.

House Bill 2482 would extend two tax preferences for semiconductor manufacturing until Jan. 1, 2034, and reinstate six tax preferences that expired on Jan. 1, 2024, until Jan. 1, 2034. We have two semiconductor manufacturers in Southwest Washington that together provide more than 3,000 jobs to our communities. They both operate in a global economy, and they need to continue to be competitive in a world market.

This bill would help them do that and would help us keep these jobs in our area. They need this tax exemption reinstated. Click here to learn more and click on the image below to watch my floor speech on final passage. The Senate Business, Financial Services, Gaming and Trade Committee already passed this bill.

House Bill 1113 is currently in the Senate, scheduled for a hearing in the Early Learning and Education Committee on Feb. 19. This legislation would require the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) to adopt rules for reviewing and vacating reprimands issued to certificated professional educators that did not involve a student. I believe in redemption and educators with minor infractions should be given an opportunity to clear their record. Click here to learn more.

I will continue to keep you posted on their progress. Additionally, to watch more of my floor speeches and to keep up with other news going on in Olympia, please visit my News and Media page on my website.

Statewide Initiatives

Unfortunately, there hasn’t been any movement on the six statewide initiatives certified by the Secretary of State and introduced into the Legislature last month. On Wednesday, Democratic leaders said they won’t hold hearings on two of the initiatives, one to repeal the state’s new capital gains tax and the other to repeal the new carbon tax.

The announcement means the two initiatives will almost surely head to the November ballot as is. As for the other four initiatives, I’m being told they are likely to receive hearings this session. I will keep you posted as more news unfolds. For now, please click here for some in-depth background and explanation of these initiatives.

Thank You and Please Stay in Touch

Thank you for your continued support as I work to represent you in the Legislature. Please don’t hesitate to contact my office If you have any questions or concerns or would like to meet with me.

It is an honor to serve.

Sincerely,


Paul Harris

State Representative Paul Harris, 17th Legislative District
RepresentativePaulHarris.com
426A Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
paul.harris@leg.wa.gov
(360) 786-7976 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000