Dear Friends and Neighbors,
This is the 16th day of the 2014 legislative session. It has been a very busy, challenging and rewarding session so far. For those of you who may not know I was appointed as the Republican lead on the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. Now, as the ranking Republican, I am more dedicated than ever in finding common-sense solutions and working across the aisle on behalf of the people of Washington state. You can read more about that here. I'm very honored to have been chosen for this appointment.
I am also proud of the legislation I have introduced this session. Due to the short length of the session this year, bills are moving through the process quickly. Three of my bills have had a hearing and two more are scheduled to be heard.
Bills that have had a hearing:
- House bill 2405 would require the Washington State Department of Agriculture to determine whether hemp seed should be allowed as a component of animal feed. Current research suggests that hemp seed provides benefits to animal health, animal welfare, and the resulting animal product for certain classes of animals.
- House bill 2354 is Washington State Department of Agriculture request legislation. This bill would extend the expiration date out to 2020 for the dairy inspection program.
- House bill 2258 would clarify the definition of employee when it concerns independent contractors in the construction industry. This bill states independent contractors are autonomous small businesses and not employees of a larger company. This is complicated legislation to read but my testimony in the hearing helped lawmakers understand what the bill does in real terms. You can watch my testimony here.
The following bills have not been heard yet and you are welcome to come and be a part of the process. My bill to limit the authority of the growth management act, House Bill 2288, will be heard on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 8 a.m. in the House Local Government Committee. Then, on Friday, Jan. 31 my bill to protect the privacy of individuals who may fall victim to what is commonly referred to as “revenge porn” will be heard. House Bill 2257, making the distribution of intimate images a crime, will be heard in the House Public Safety Committee.
As mentioned earlier, this is a short legislative session, lasting only 60 days. Next week marks the cutoff for getting policy bills out of committee. This means that any bills which have not been voted out of committee are, for all intents, dead. After next week we will be focusing more on the bills which were previously voted out of committee as we deliberate and vote them off of the House floor and pass them over to the Senate for consideration. I look forward to many of my bills making it through this process and to the Senate.
Last week I was pleased to speak on behalf of the pro-life movement at the March for Life rally. I greatly appreciate all the people from Whatcom County who turned out for the event. We had a record number of participants this year with estimates putting it at well over 4,000 people.
On Feb. 3 myself and my fellow 42 District legislators will be holding a telephone town hall at 6:30 p.m. to discuss state legislative issues. The event works like a radio show and constituents can call-in to ask questions. To take part in the call, you can call 1-800-216-8156. On February 22, from 10 a.m. to noon at Blaine High School we will be holding a live town hall.
While I am at the Capitol, the needs of our communities remain at the forefront of my mind. I encourage constituents to contact me with their thoughts and opinions. I am here to serve the people and my door is always open. My phone number, office location and email address are all listed on my website www.representativevincentbuys.com.
Please feel free to pass this e-mail along to others who may be interested. You can sign up for my e-mail updates by clicking this link: receive Rep. Buys email updates. As always, I am here to be a resource for you. Thank you for allowing me to serve as your state representative for the 42nd District.