OLYMPIA — Now that we’re into the second week of the legislative session, lawmakers are digging into various issues. GOP members of the House and Senate held forth on a bunch of issues Tuesday at a media availability.
1. On bills that would raise the minimum wage (SB 5285, HB 1355), Republican Deputy Leader Sen. Jon Braun said the threat of a minimum-wage proposal going to a public vote could force lawmakers to find a compromise. “I think you’re going to see a big philosophical divide,” Braun said. But also “a practical interest, if there is support in the House — how do we do this in a way that makes sense for the state and doesn’t hurt the poorest members of our communities?”
2. On the “ag-gag” bill (HB 1104) that would prohibit filming on farms: Republican Floor Leader Rep. J.T. Wilcox, said he removed his name from the bill as sponsor. Asked whether he’d support it, Wilcox said: “I don’t think it’s going to see a place where I get to vote for it.”
3. Last year, Gov. Jay Inslee vetoed a bill that would have regulated drone use. Wilcox said the House is still championing regulations: “I think it’s very legitimate for people to be very worried about surveillance in their backyard or in their pool,” he said
4. On the recent open-carry firearms ban in the Capitol galleries, Republican Majority Leader Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, said Lt. Gov. Brad Owen’s interpretation of the event was correct: “Clearly they were demonstrating against an initiative, and the lieutenant governor does enforce the decorum and protocol of the Senate.”