Dear Friends and Neighbors,
On Monday, Jan. 9, lawmakers returned to Olympia for the start of the 2023 legislative session. The Washington State Legislature is considered a part-time legislature. In odd-numbered years we meet for 105 consecutive days.
Our main tasks the next few months are to craft the state's two-year operating, capital, and transportation budgets.
As a member on the House Appropriations Committee, I will work alongside our budget writers as we discuss the fiscal policies that ultimately help shape the state's operating budget. This budget funds state agency operations costs and other government functions.
You can learn more about the priorities of your 16th District delegation by reading our first op-ed of the legislative session. Some other priorities we will debate this session include reducing your cost of living; making communities safer; fixing our housing crisis; and empowering all families.
Before the start of the 2023 session, House Republican leadership selected me to be the ranking Republican on the House Education Committee. This committee considers issues relating to kindergarten through twelfth grade (K-12) education.
K-12 education has always been one of my priorities since I was first elected to the Legislature.
I am honored to help lead this committee and work toward real solutions to address the pandemic-related learning loss, improve reading and math scores, and give parents the flexibility necessary to help their children succeed in school and life.
You can read more about my education priorities in my recent op-ed: Improving students' educational opportunities
You can also learn more about my priorities and the work we are doing in the House Education Committee by listening to my Capitol Report radio recordings. You can listen by clicking here or on the photos below.
Capitol Report: Committee assignments and the current education system
Capitol Report: Bills that would improve the educational system
I will also serve on the following House committees:
- Appropriations. This committee considers the operating budget, related legislation, budget processes, and fiscal issues such as pension policy and compensation. The committee also considers bills with operating budget fiscal impacts.
- Civil Rights and Judiciary. This committee considers a wide variety of legal issues, including constitutional law; privacy rights; anti-discrimination measures; commercial law; torts; probate; guardianships; civil commitment; forensic mental health; firearms; and eminent domain. The committee also considers issues relating to courts and judicial administrations; and family law issues such as marriage, marriage dissolution, child support, and adoption.
Bills of Importance
Death with Dignity Act Modernization
- Allowing prescription mail delivery, with delivery safeguards
- Reduces the waiting period from 15 days to 3 days
- Expands the list of practitioners allowed to participate in the law
- Requires the Department of Health to post hospitals' policies online
In both 2021 and 2022, the House of Representatives passed House Bill 1141, but the bill did not make it to the Senate floor for a final vote.
This session, I have reintroduced this bill as House Bill 1281 seeking to increase access to the provisions of the Washington Death with Dignity Act. My bill received a public hearing in the House Health Care and Wellness Committee on Jan. 25.
My colleagues in the Senate have also introduced a bipartisan companion bill – Senate Bill 5179.
This bill directly responds to 16th District constituent experiences, which show improvements to the law are needed.
School board transparency
It is important for parents, students, and the public to have access to school board meetings in an effort to help keep parents involved in their children's education.
I have sponsored House Bill 1210, seeking to increase school board meeting access. My bill would require school boards to record and retain the audio recording of each meeting. The records would be searchable by date and available for five years. My bill received a public hearing in the House State Government and Tribal Relations Committee on Jan. 17.
I have introduced a simple bill regarding jury duty service. House Bill 1312 seeks to allow anyone 70 years of age or older to opt out of jury service for health-related purposes. This bill received a public hearing in the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee on Jan. 24.
Walla Walla Water Plan
I have introduced House Bill 1322 relating to the Walla Walla Water 2050 Plan. My seatmate Sen. Perry Dozier has introduced the companion bill in the Senate – Senate Bill 5384. My version of the bill received a public hearing in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on Jan. 24.
You can stay updated on the progress of all the bills I have sponsored and cosponsored by visiting my website RepresentativeSkylerRude.com and clicking the Sponsored Bills tab on the top banner of my website.
Please reach out to my office to set up a meeting, ask questions, or discuss the issues that matter most to you.
I also want to take this opportunity to share information and a list of resources with you. These will provide a detailed look at the work happening behind the scenes on your behalf – and on behalf of everyone in Washington state. I encourage you to bookmark the links below and share them with your friends and family.
- Visit my website | Representative Skyler Rude
- Visit the Washington State House Republicans website
- Follow Washington State House Republicans on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram
- Sign-up for The Current | The Washington State House Republican Caucus newsletter
- Sign-up for The Capitol Buzz | A daily summary of online news from across the state, highlighting policies, politics, and other issues that affect Washingtonians
- Bookmark The Ledger | Washington State House Republicans news aggregator
- Visit the Washington State Legislature website
- Bookmark House Committees | How to sign-up to testify
If you have further questions or thoughts, please continue to reach out to my office.
Thank you for the honor of allowing me to serve!