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Dear Friends,

Several days ago, House Republicans unveiled a “real solutions” budget proposal. It is uncommon for the minority party to introduce a spending plan. However, we decided to do this so we could demonstrate a budget could be produced that funds our priorities – working families, vulnerable citizens, students, and small businesses – and do it with NO new or increased taxes. It is a “real solutions” budget that provides opportunities for all of Washington state.

Below is the framework for our budget proposal.

For more details on the budget check out these links:

Virtual town hall meeting

On Saturday, March 6, at 4 p.m., Rep. Jim Walsh and I would like to invite you to a Virtual Town Hall meeting to discuss issues before us in the 2021 legislative session.

This town hall event is a fantastic way to let your voice be heard. I look forward to your questions, concerns and input.

The remote town hall event will be conducted using the Zoom platform. If you would like to participate you must pre-register in advance. To do so, go to RepresentativeJimWalsh.com or RepresentativeJoelMcEntire.com. Both websites have a drop-down that links to the registration. The conference can only accommodate the first 500 attendees, so register early. I look forward to visiting with you.

Where are we with Phase 3?

A couple of weeks ago, the governor moved all regions in his “Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery” plan to Phase 2. He has been asked at his press conference the last two weeks about moving to Phase 3. Last week when he was asked about Phase 3 he responded:

“We have not identified that…we just put the finishing touches on Phase 2.”

He held another press conference Thursday. The following article breaks down the multiple questions on Phase 3 asked of the governor and his responses. Give it a quick read:

Despite several attempts, Inslee couldn’t be pinned down on a Phase 3 plan (NCW Life Channel)

If you read the article, you can see there are still no details on what Phase 3 or any later phases might look like. The governor indicated he expects to have answers to the next phase questions sometime in the “next several weeks as we look at the development of the science.”

This is unacceptable. The pandemic has taken a toll on the mental health of many. The people of the 19th District and Washington state have made a lot of personal sacrifices over the last year. We must get our businesses back open to a minimum of 50% capacity, put people back to work and continue to get more kids back in school.

I would add, House Republican leadership has sent at least two letters to the governor requesting some guidance or details on a Phase 3 or future plan.

There will always be risk, no matter what our plan. However, the people of Washington have worked hard to get to Phase 2 and earned the opportunity to move forward. Our governor and his pandemic response team need to get a Phase 3 or another plan in place so people can continue to put some normalcy back in their lives and communities.

It is difficult to get folks to buy into a plan if you do not have one.

Second Amendment rights threatened

I have heard from many of you about potential legislation threatening our Second Amendment rights. Here is an update on legislation that could penalize law-abiding gun owners.

House Bill 1164/Senate Bill 5078 – This is request legislation from the state Attorney General. It would ban the sale, transfer and possession of rifle or pistol magazines of more than 10 rounds. The House bill appears dead for the session, but the Senate companion bill could come up for a vote in the Senate at any time.

House Bill 1229/Senate Bill 5217 – This is the so-called “assault weapons” ban and is also Attorney General request legislation. Neither bill received a public hearing. This legislation is likely dead for the session.

House Bill 1283 – The original bill was very concerning as it appeared to move towards banning “open carry.” However, the bill has been amended significantly. We are waiting to see what the bill will look like if or when it comes before us in the House for a vote.

Senate Bill 5038 – This is the Senate version of the open carry ban. The bill would ban the open carry of firearms at the state Capitol and within 250 feet of permitted demonstrations anywhere in the state. It passed the Senate by a vote 28-20. It now comes to us in the House.

I can assure you I will be voting to protect your free speech and self-defense rights if or when these bills come before us.

Stay connected

I urge you to stay engaged with the “virtual” session. Click here for further information on accessing the Legislature remotely. Here are some additional links that may be helpful:

  • The Washington State Ledger: This is a legislative news aggregator. It is a great source for information related to state government, public policy and the legislative process.
  • Capitol Buzz: This daily electronic clip service offers headlines and stories from media outlets throughout the state, including newspaper, radio, and television.
  • The Current: This an online legislative publication from the Washington House Republicans that is sent out every week during the legislative session.
  • TVW: The state’s own version of C-SPAN, TVW broadcasts floor and committee action live online. This will be an important tool with the session being “virtual.”

Please let me know if you have any questions, concerns or comments on issues before us.

It is an honor to serve you!

Your Humble Servant,

Joel McEntire

State Representative Joel McEntire, 19th Legislative District
409 John L. O’Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7870 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000