Dear Friends and Neighbors,
This is the 27th day of the 2014 legislative session. Yesterday, Feb.7, was the last day for committees to hear bills from their house of origin and the first significant deadline of the session. Bills originating in the House of Representatives had to have been voted out of House policy committees (and vice-versa for the Senate) or the legislation is considered dead. Only fiscal committees and the Transportation Committee are exempt from this deadline. For a reminder of how a bill becomes law click here.
This session I introduced a handful of bills meant to address the varied needs of our community. Due to the short length of the session this year, bills are moving through the process quickly and some of my legislation is unlikely to continue. However, my following bills are still moving.
I have a simple bill that would allow contractors who transport livestock manure for milk producers and farmers – a business that is already run this way – to continue to get a sales tax exemption. House Bill 2259 has the support of both farmers and environmentalists. This bill will be heard on Feb. 10 at 8:00 a.m. in the House Finance Committee.
My bill requiring the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) to determine whether hemp seed should be allowed as a component of animal feed was voted out of committee. House Bill 2405 follows current research which suggests that hemp seed provides benefits to animal health, animal welfare, and the resulting animal product for certain classes of animals.
WSDA request legislation that I sponsored, House Bill 2354, was voted out of policy committee. The bill has until Tuesday, Feb. 11, to be voted out of fiscal committee. This bill would extend the expiration date out to 2020 for the dairy inspection program and has strong bi-partisan support.
This week I have been busy outside of committee meeting with different groups including: the Interfaith Community Health Center in Bellingham, Planned Parenthood and Christian Health Care Center in Lynden. I was pleased to meet with representatives from the Farm Bureau and Whatcom County Community College.
Laura Hope as our page
I recently sponsored Laura Hope, who attends Bellingham High School, as a page in the state House of Representatives on Olympia. It was a pleasure to have Laura come to Olympia and serve as a page. The page program is an excellent way for students from around the state to learn how our state government functions.
I met Laura and her family at a Hispanic Commission meeting where she was giving a presentation on music education. While she was here, we were able to take a moment and play some music in a place with amazing acoustics – our Capitol Dome. It was a great opportunity to play with someone so talented.
While I am here, 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.