2012 Regular Legislative Session Day 22

We’re back on the House Floor this morning voting on the House Cutoff Calendar. What was supposed to be a series of floor speeches from the House Republican Caucus in support of the amended Cutoff Calendar was suddenly cut short by the Democrat Majority because we didn’t tell them we were going to do that. Yes, you heard that correctly, the Majority Democrats refused to let us have floor debate because they didn’t know about it first. It’s these types of games that boggle my mind and piss me off.

Had I been allowed to give my floor speech, it would have gone something like this …

Mr. Speaker, what is regulatory reform? Regulatory Reform simply saves state taxpayers’ dollars and helps create more private-sector jobs. Unfortunately, the Democrat’s idea of regulatory reform is to create the”Office of Permit Assistance”, while our idea is to simply make the permit easier to get and understand.

My Caucus has introduced several ideas would lead to real reform, like HB1125 which would reclassify hydropower as renewable energy. When we sell our inexpensive hydropower to California, it qualifies as a renewable, but in Washington it does not. Let’s recapture our competitive advantage and count hydropower as renewable energy.

We have also introduced several bills to reform the Growth Management Act. For example, HB 1592 would suspend the requirements of the GMA in counties with significant and persistent unemployment. Mr. Speaker, let’s make it easier to start or grow a business in Washington and get our citizens working again.

As we all know, Tribal Casinos currently have an unfair advantage over no tribal card rooms … electronic lottery terminals. Some of us have advocated changing the law to allow house banked card rooms the opportunity to operate the same terminals and allow the state to recapture revenue currently going to Tribal Governments who do not pay taxes. This is about fairness and transparency in government.

Lastly, HB 2276 titled the Regulatory Freedom and Accountability Act is an omnibus reform bill that would create regulatory certainty for businesses across Washington State. In 2010 alone, state agencies adopted 1,438 new, permanent rules. Mr. Speaker, constant changes to rules create uncertainty, but predictable rules create opportunities for business growth and job creation.

Mr. Speaker, the amended calendar exempts revenue bills from the policy cutoff. It’s important that we acknowledge revenue bills aren’t just taxes or fees, but also includes reform bills that save the taxpayers money. I would encourage a yes vote of the amended calendar.

The Democrat Majority may be able to stop me from speaking on the House Floor, but they can’t stop me from saying my piece publicly.

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