Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It is Day 67 of the scheduled 105-day legislative session. We are now past two major milestones of the session: the halfway mark was March 1 and the house of origin cutoff was March 8. The Legislature is quickly entering the final weeks of this year’s regular session, which is scheduled to adjourn April 23.
House of origin cutoff – March 8
This is a significant date on the Legislature’s calendar. Bills are required to pass from the chamber where they originated by that date or they are considered “dead” for the session. Legislation necessary to implement the budget is exempt from the deadlines. We also know that with enough support, any bill could be “resurrected” while the Legislature is in session. These deadlines help to winnow the hundreds of bills down to a manageable level and keep us on target to complete the people’s business within the allotted 105-day schedule.
Leading up to the March 8 deadline, we were working long hours, sometimes into early mornings, on the House floor and in our caucuses, discussing, debating, and voting on bills. In the final outcome at the cutoff, 329 bills passed the House, 77 of which were prime sponsored by House Republicans. Of the six bills I introduced this session, two of them, House Bill 1421 – Voluntary Stewardship Program, and House Bill 1568 – Long-term care professionals, passed the House of Representatives and were sent to the Senate.
You can read more about my House-approved bills here:
- News release: House approves Chambers’ bill to add counties to state’s Voluntary Stewardship Program
- News release: House unanimously approves Chambers’ bill to help reduce long-term care worker shortage
- Opinion editorial: Staffing shortages have crushed Washington’s nursing homes and hospitals. This would help…
Police pursuit bill stalls in House, Senate passes its version
On March 8 after the vehicular pursuit bill stalled in the House, I joined with families and friends of victims of our currently flawed law to urge passage of the reform bill. As I’ve written in previous email updates, 12-year-old Immaculee Goldade was killed and her best friend severely injured when a thief who stole a landscaping flatbed truck ran over them as they were walking home from a nearby school. And then he took off. It was learned that two weeks earlier, he fled from police and they were prevented from stopping him because a 2021 change in the law says police may not pursue a suspect unless they have “probable cause.”
House Bill 1363 originally sought to restore the law before it was changed in 2021 so that law enforcement could engage in vehicular pursuits under the “reasonable suspicion” standard. Unfortunately, it was amended to restrict reasonable suspicion pursuits to a violent offense, a sex offense, vehicular assault, escape, domestic violence or driving under the influence. Many other serious crimes, however, including vehicular theft, are not included.
When it became apparent the police vehicular pursuit bill was not going to move out of the House Rules Committee, Republican co-sponsor Rep. Eric Robertson made a procedural move on March 7 to bring the measure to the House floor for a vote. The majority party rejected the motion, which meant the House bill was likely going no further.
The following day, we held the rally in front of the Capitol steps. At the same time, the Senate took up its own version, Senate Bill 5352. It’s nearly identical to the House-amended bill, except it does not have a sunset clause like the House version that would have expired the bill in two years. The bill passed the Senate and is now in the House Community Safety, Justice and Reentry Committee awaiting a hearing.
Read today’s Seattle Times editorial on this topic: For community safety, state House must pass new police-pursuit law.
Watch my Legislative Video Update!
In my latest video update, I talk about my bills that passed the House and are now under Senate consideration. I also discuss why legislation is needed to reform the current police pursuit law. And we take a moment to look ahead at the big issues that still need to be addressed in the final weeks of the 2023 legislative session. Click here to watch or click on the image below.
25th District Survey Results
At the beginning of the year, I joined with my seatmates, Rep. Cyndy Jacobsen, and Sen. Chris Gildon, to send out our 25th Legislative District mailer to citizens across our district. Within that mailer was a link and QR code to our 25th District Survey. The survey is now closed and the results are in. See below to learn what is important to citizens who completed the survey. Many thanks to all who participated.
Rogers High School student serves as my House page
It was a great pleasure to sponsor Chezney Farr as a page this week in the state House of Representatives. Chezney is a student at Rogers High School in Puyallup and the daughter of Mike Farr of Ephrata and Joy Churchill of Puyallup.
Our Legislative Page Program is a wonderful educational opportunity for young people between the ages of 14 and 17 who learn about the legislative process. They help keep the Legislature running smoothly by delivering messages and documents to legislators in their offices, committee meetings and the House chamber during floor sessions. They also participate in ceremonial activities, such as presenting the flags. Plus, they spend two hours a day in the Legislative Page School writing mock bills and engaging in debates with other students from all over the state.
You can learn more about Chezney and the page program by reading my news release.
2023 Daffodil Festival Royal Court visits the state Capitol after House approves HR 4620
Last Friday, the state House approved House Resolution 4620. This is a measure I introduced to recognize the Daffodil Festival and its Royal Court.
On Tuesday, I was honored to visit with the princesses of the Royal Court as they visited the State Capitol. This year, the festival celebrates its 90th year. The Grand Floral Parade will be held April 1 in Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner and Orting.
Stay informed with ‘The Week Ahead’
There are many ways to keep up to date with the activities of the Legislature. And now we have added a new way to stay informed and get involved through our new webpage: The Week Ahead. Updated every Friday, you can learn about the coming week’s committee hearings, floor debate and session activities. I invite you to sign up to get The Week Ahead in your email inbox each week. Go here to subscribe.
Also, I recently reactivated my official legislative Facebook page. Follow me at https://www.facebook.com/RepKellyChambers.
I’m here to serve as well as represent you
If you have any questions about the topics discussed in this newsletter, or if you have comments, suggestions or ideas about state government and legislation, feel free to contact my office. I appreciate hearing from you. You will find my contact information below.
It is an honor to serve and represent you!