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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

After weeks of committee hearings on hundreds of pieces of legislation, we'll soon be spending the majority of our time on the House floor voting on bills that managed to survive the latest legislative deadlines.

In fact, today is one of the most important deadlines of the legislative session: fiscal committee cutoff. Any bills not voted out of their respective fiscal committee will be considered “dead” and no further legislative action will be taken on them. The only exception to this rule is initiatives and bills necessary to implement the budget.

Despite being in the minority party, Republicans have managed to kill a few really bad bills. Regrettably, others continue to move through the legislative process. Many of these bills are being pushed by Seattle-area Democrats who have very little understanding of life in Eastern Washington. Let me share a couple of examples with you.

The low carbon fuel standard

The governor and other Democrats are pushing legislation that would authorize the Department of Ecology to create a low carbon fuel standard patterned after California. Why on earth would we want to be like California?

The low carbon fuel standard is highly inefficient. It's an expensive method that only produces a tiny amount of CO2 reduction. Washington state's version, House Bill 1110, is a complicated plan of credits and “strategies” to reduce CO2 emissions— which includes mixing biofuel with gasoline. Many experts believe this could raise the price of gasoline in Washington state by 17-34 cents per gallon. This hike in fuel costs would hit low-income families especially hard and put even more pressure on fuel dependent businesses.

Listen to my recent Capitol Report podcast about the low carbon fuel standard.

Washington is already among one of the cleanest states in the nation when it comes to air quality. I'm not opposed to doing all we can to keep it that way. In fact, I support smart environmental strategies that reduce carbon pollution. But, the low carbon fuel standard is not smart. It's a bad bill that needs to die.

Unfortunately, House Bill 1110 was approved by Democrats in by both the House Transportation and Appropriation committees and may reach the House floor as early as next week.

Seattle Democrats are supporting a bill requiring farmers to report incidents of “slavery, peonage and human trafficking”

Senate Bill 5693 isn't just a bad bill, it's insulting. This controversial bill was proposed by a Democratic legislator from Seattle. It would require farmers to report incidents of “slavery, peonage and human trafficking” to retailers with more than $200,000 in global sales.

The bill doesn't just suggest farmers deal in slave labor, it clearly implies it's a routine occurrence on farms across our state. This legislation demonstrates Seattle legislators have no understanding—or respect—for the good work farmers and their employees do to put food on our tables.

I'm disappointed Senate Democrats on the Labor and Commerce Committee approved this measure. If it manages to make it to the House floor, you can bet Republicans will do our best to kill this horrible bill.

Fighting for your values!

My Republican colleagues and I are doing our best to fight against bad public policy. However, we need the public's support and help. I encourage all of you to call the toll-free legislative hotline with your views on these bills. The number is 1-800-562-6000. Let's remind the Seattle Democrats Washington isn't just about Seattle's priorities – it's about our priorities across the entire state, including Eastern Washington.

Upcoming town hall meetings

Sen. Judy WarnickR-Moses Lake, Rep. Tom Dent, R-Moses Lake, and I are hosting town hall meetings on Friday, March 22, and Saturday, March 23. We will be providing a 2019 session update and discussing public policy decisions being made in Olympia. We need to hear from you! Please consider attending and sharing your opinions, ideas, and comments on state government-related issues. Town hall meetings will take place in the following locations:

Date: Friday, March 22
Time: 5:00—7:00 p.m.
Where: Ellensburg City Hall, 501 N. Anderson

Date: Saturday, March 23
Time: 10:00—12:00 p.m.
Where: Davenport City Court House, 450 Logan
*parking is located on the west side of the entrance on the lower level 

Moses Lake
Date: Saturday, March 23
Time: 3:00—5:00 p.m.
Where: Big Bend Community College, ATEC Building 1800, 7662 Chanute St. NE

If you have any questions about our town halls, feel free to call my Olympia office at (360) 786-7808 or email me at alex.ybarra@leg.wa.gov. Better yet, if you are planning on visiting Olympia stop by and see me. I'm always happy to meet with you!

Thank you for allowing me to represent you in Olympia!


Alex Ybarra

State Representative Alex Ybarra, 13th Legislative District
470 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7808 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000