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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Wednesday, March 8, at 5 p.m., was house of origin cutoff – the deadline for House bills to pass out of the chamber. Any bill that did not advance by this deadline is considered “dead” for the year. There is, however, one exception to this rule: bills considered by the House speaker to be necessary to pass the budget can be resurrected.       

Defending your right to keep and bear arms

Ahead of this Wednesday deadline, the majority party brought up House Bill 1240 for debate –the state attorney general’s proposal that would outlaw the manufacture, importation, distribution, sale, or offer for sale of any so-called “assault weapon.”

As bad as the underlying bill is, the intent section is full of factual inaccuracies and overly partisan language. The bill asserts that the gun industry promotes the sale of “hyper masculine” and “military style” weapons.

My daughter is involved in shootings sports, and she’s certainly not “hyper masculine.”

During debate, I tried to remove this statement, along with other misinformation about firearms in the bill, on behalf of the thousands of women in our state who regularly exercise their right to use firearms.

Our amendment, along with all 12 other Republican amendments, failed to be adopted.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 55-42 and now heads to the Senate for further consideration.

You can read my full statement on HB 1240 by clicking here.

Town hall meeting this Saturday

You are invited to join me, Rep. Stephanie Barnard, and Sen. Matt Boehnke for a town hall meeting on Saturday, March 11, from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m., at The Arc of Tri-Cities (1455 Fowler St, Richland, WA 99352).

I am looking forward to seeing you there!

Fixing the police pursuit problem

On Tuesday, House Republicans tried to bring up House Bill 1363 – bipartisan legislation concerning vehicular pursuits – to the floor for a vote. Unfortunately, the majority party blocked our effort.

I was incredibly disappointed by this decision. We’ve already seen what it looks like when the law treats vehicles as a get-out-of-jail-free for fleeing criminals: more crime, more devastation, and more lost lives.

In fact, just last week in Sunnyside, two innocent little children were killed by a wrong-way drunk driver. State troopers wanted to pursue the driver and prevent this horrific tragedy but were prevented from doing so under current law.

While we weren’t able to advance this bill through the House before the Wednesday deadline, the Senate passed Senate Bill 5352, which is similar to the House version. The bill isn’t ideal, but it’s better than the status quo, and we can strengthen it with amendments to provide our law enforcement professionals with the tools they need to stop criminals.   

In January, I introduced House Bill 1691 as a complementary effort to increase the penalty for fleeing law enforcement officers while committing grand theft auto.

You can read my full statement on the majority party blocking the vehicular pursuit bill by clicking here.

Light pollution bill passed the House and has public hearing in Senate

House Bill 1173, my bill to reduce light pollution from wind turbines, passed the House and is scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Environment, Energy and Technology on March 17 at 8:00 a.m.

You can sign up for public testimony, comment, or submit your position on a bill by clicking here.

Background: Wind turbines are equipped with blinking red lights as a safety measure for nearby aircraft traveling at night. While the lights serve an important safety function, they are also an eyesore for local residents and cause light pollution. 

This bill would require the warning lights to turn on automatically only when they are needed by aircraft.   

I greatly appreciate the bipartisan, unanimous support for this measure. This bill is about preserving the beauty of our night sky.

Improving home leaseback agreement rules

House Bill 1070 – my measure to exempt three-month residential leaseback agreements – has been placed on second reading by the Senate Rules Committee. That means it could come up for a vote soon.  

Background: A leaseback is an agreement between a buyer and seller of a property that allows the seller to continue living in and renting the property. Although leaseback agreements are a popular option in the real estate industry, they remain underutilized because they turn homebuyers into unwitting landlords regulated by the RLTA.

House Bill 1070 would remove the legal cloud of uncertainty many homebuyers feel when entering into these agreements.

As a residential real estate agent for over 20 years, I’ve seen, firsthand, how complicated and unnecessary these regulations can be for leaseback agreements. This bill would make it easier for buyers and sellers to take advantage of a popular tool that helps them both meet their needs and schedules.

How you can get involved

  • My legislative website | Find my contact information, bio, news releases, email updates, videos, opinion pieces, bills, and other information.
  • My legislative Facebook page | hit “like” to get the latest news and information on your timeline about our efforts to achieve the best outcomes for the 8th District and Washington state.
  • The Capitol Buzz | A weekday roundup of online news stories.   
  • The Current | An online legislative publication from the Washington House Republicans.
  • TVW | TVW broadcasts floor and committee action live online.
  • The Ledger | A legislative news aggregator.
  • Legislature’s website | Bill reports, committee agendas, and information about upcoming activities in the Legislature here.
  • State agencies | Lists of all state agencies, boards, and commissions here.
  • Participating in the process | Information about how you can participate in the legislative process

Thank you!

It’s an honor to serve the Tri-Cities! If you have any questions, concerns, comments, or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

I will do my best to answer messages from constituents first, so please be sure to include your home address and phone number in your correspondence.

It’s an honor to serve you!

Sincerely,


April Connors

State Representative April Connors, 8th Legislative District
representativeaprilconnors.com
434 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
april.connors@leg.wa.gov
(509) 505-6755 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000