All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Legislative report

We are approaching the first cutoff date of the 2015 legislative session. This Friday is the policy committee cutoff date, meaning House bills must be passed out of their respective policy committees or they are likely "dead" for the session. The cutoff for the fiscal committees is next week, Feb. 27. Of course bills necessary to implement the budget "NTIB" are exempt from cutoff dates. For more on cutoff click here 

In this week's update I touch on the Senate's transportation proposal and small business-killing legislation we heard in the House Appropriations Committee, and you can watch my legislative update where I discuss my bill that would change red light camera laws.
Sincerely,

Cary Condotta

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Senate unveils transportation proposal
Late last week the Senate introduced a bipartisan transportation plan. Overall, it is a $15 billion tax increase including an 11.7 cent fuel tax increase over three years, 2015-17 and increases numerous fees. It does contain some important reforms such as prevailing wage requirements on transportation projects and streamlining environmental permitting. However, I believe the current proposal is too large of a tax hit for what the 12th District gets back. Our district would get back about one-half of one percent of the $15 billion package. I am also concerned about the number of fee increases. At this point, I do not support this proposal

Business-killing bills heard in Appropriations Committee
This week the House Appropriations Committee heard a number of bills that could devastate an already fragile business climate in Washington state. Democrats are moving legislation that would:
A higher minimum wage would not reduce poverty, stimulate the economy or address income inequality.  Remember, our state has the highest minimum wage in the nation, but poverty has still increased and our income inequality has grown compared to many other states with the federal minimum wage.In fact, it will cost government more, and drive small employers out of business. It increases employers' taxes, when they already pay an exorbitant amount of taxes. It hurts low-skilled workers and teen unemployment. If a low-skilled worker or teenager is struggling to find work at $9.47 an hour, they will not find work at $12 an hour. We are hearing stories of some companies moving out of the Puget Sound region because of the increased cost of doing business. Read: "Longtime Seattle manufacturer moving 100 jobs to Nevada."

The family and medical leave insurance will be an additional cost to the state and it would also reduce state employee wages. It is another mandate on employers instead of allowing them to provide the benefits or leave that suits their business the best.

If the mandatory paid sick and safe leave were to pass Washington employers would pay approximately $450 million in additional costs. School districts and local governments would face increase costs. Small businesses would disproportionately be effected as most large businesses provide some type of sick leave.

The bill concerning wage retaliation is not needed. There are already several statutes in place prohibiting employers from taking adverse action against employees. It would just add another layer of bureaucracy employers would have to contend with.

What most people miss is the huge increase in cost of government under the bills I have mentioned. This will increase the state budget by billions forcing the state to raise taxes or add additional taxes such as income, capital gains, carbon, etc. No one wins on these bills.

There is also talk circulating around Olympia that large corporations are quietly supporting some of this legislation, particularly the bills mandating some type of leave. It would increase their business at the expense of the small competitors who would have difficulty paying or covering the leave mandates.

Modifying traffic safety cameras
I did a number of interviews in the last week on my traffic safety camera legislation, including on KIRO and KOMO radio. Watch my video update from last week to get more details on it and a wrap-up of last week. Click here to watch it.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

$15 per hour grows unemployment in Seattle

Seattle’s $15 minimum wage has claimed its first casualty… and the union-driven, completely arbitrary policy has yet to be implemented. Cascade Designs, an outdoor recreational gear manufacturing company, announced it is moving 100 jobs (20% of the workforce) later this year from Seattle to a new plant it is leasing near Reno, Nevada.

Cascade Designs “manufactures MSR camping stoves, Platypus hydration packs, SeaLine dry bags, and Therma-A-Rest sleeping pads — hundreds of products made by workers in Seattle.” The company has offered some employees positions in Reno, but others must reapply.

Founder John Burroughs and son David Burroughs (Vice Chair) said that Seattle’s $15 minimum wage “nudged them into action.” Burroughs wants to keep production in the United States, though the company does have a plant in Ireland. Burroughs said Seattle’s new minimum wage would “eventually add up to a few million dollars a year.”

The need to expand—an expensive prospect in Seattle—added to Cascade Designs’ decision to move.

published by Shiftwa

Friday, January 2, 2015

New firearm regulations from I-594

Two new sections of Washington state firearms regulations RCW 9.41 are key to knowing the onerous changes 594 is laying on us.  594 wasn't about saving people's lives; it was about complicating gun ownership.

"All firearm sales or transfers, in whole or part in this state including without limitation a sale or transfer where either the purchaser or seller or transferee or transferor is in Washington, shall be subject to background checks unless specifically exempted by state or federal law.  -- New section RCW 9.41.113 (1)"

The key word in that section is transfer.  Normally, if I was selling a firearm, I would expect the transfer to occur when I exchanged the firearm for money.  If I was just handing my firearm over to someone else to look at and hand back to me, I wouldn't consider that a transfer.

This is not so in Washington state anymore.  Initiative 594 caused the state definition to change: "'Transfer' means the intended delivery of a firearm to another person without consideration of payment or promise of payment including, but not limited to, gifts and loans.' --  RCW 9.41.010, section (25)" 

If someone else merely handles your firearm in Washington state, you are both guilty of a misdemeanor or felony (see RCW 9.41.115).  The clear intent of I-594 is to impede common interest in firearms through trickery.

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I-594 supporters tried to conceal a provision of 594 -- the requirement the state maintain a database that is tantamount to mandatory registration of all firearms (not just pistol) transfers.  The requirement that all purchasers be approved via background check, and recorded in the state database, as required by I-594 Section 5 c (2) (a) and (b).  This constitutes an entirely separate requirement, therefore violating the single subject law on initiatives, as required by the Washington State Constitution, Article II, section 19. 
Article 2 of the Washington State Constitution describes the whole legislative process; Section 19 defines the limit of a single bill: "No bill shall embrace more than one subject, and that shall be expressed in the title."  Initiative 594 describes itself as "AN ACT Relating to requiring criminal and public safety background checks for gun sales and transfers."

I-594 treats more than one subject; I-594 violated the single subject rule, and thus the election result on I-594 is invalidated by sloppy initiative writing.  Washington State requires clarity.  Had the People really known what they were voting for, there is no doubt the result would have been different. 
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Our state's firearms laws used to be based on the principle that individual people have the right to run their own lives. Now, personal "rights" are subject to review and permission from a bureaucracy.  That sort of filter would catch criminals, but by definition criminals don't obey the law.  No bureaucracy is perfect, so only the law-abiding will be "caught" and found guilty of crime.

There are more subtle changes than just those mentioned above.  Please protect yourself from the spider's web.  Download and study a copy of the entire state firearms regulations. Then write your state legislator and demand action on removing I-594.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The FBI and I-594

Apparently I-594 was effective in 2013 -- a full year before it went into effect.

From the FBI's most current uniform crime report announcement (2013):
"The estimated number of violent crimes in the nation decreased 4.4 percent in 2013 when compared with 2012 data, according to FBI figures released today. Property crimes decreased 4.1 percent, marking the 11th straight year the collective estimates for these offenses declined.

"The 2013 statistics show the estimated rate of violent crime was 367.9 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants, and the property crime rate was 2,730.7 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants. The violent crime rate declined 5.1 percent compared to the 2012 rate, while the property crime rate declined 4.8 percent.

"These and additional data are presented in the 2013 edition of the FBI’s annual report Crime in the United States. This publication is a statistical compilation of offense and arrest data reported by law enforcement agencies voluntarily participating in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program.

"The UCR Program collects information on crimes reported by law enforcement agencies regarding the violent crimes of murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, as well as the property crimes of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.
The I-594 supporters lied extensively about the consequences of 594 in order to fool the Washington's people into voting for it.  Stupid lies like "32% of women will have their lives saved" and so forth.



If anything, more gun ownership spells a safer society, with or without background checks.  A free people can figure out if they need a gun, unless there are media forces and hyper rich people spending millions on lies to fool the people into fear of themselves and their freedom.

As soon as 594 begins to cost lives and cause crime, it will be time to make the big, rich supporters of 594 feel the pain.  We must be willing to hold people like Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg accountable, by taking their billions away from them in liability actions in a court of law.

Monday, December 8, 2014

I-594 parade of absurd outcomes commences

Barely two weeks after Washington State voters approved Initiative 594 -- a measure the NRA warned was “deeply flawed” -- our predicted consequences are beginning to emerge.

Under I-594’s restrictive language, a person simply handing his or her firearm to another is presumptively required to broker this “transfer” through a gun dealer.  This also necessitates the accompanying background check, fee, paperwork, taxes and, in the case of a handgun, state registration.

Proponents of the initiative had assured voters that fears of this overreach were exaggerated.  Prior to the vote on I-594, Geoff Potter, spokesman for 1-594 proponents Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, said I-594 “simply applies the current system of background checks to all sales.”

As recounted in a Washington State news report, however, the Lynden Pioneer Museum has opted to pull eleven loaned WWII rifles currently on display and return these firearms to their collector owners before the “transfer” requirement in I-594 takes effect next month.  The reason?  The law contains no exemptions for firearms loaned for museum displays, or loaned for similar educational or cultural institution study or uses.  Once the law takes effect, the firearms could not be returned to their owners without the mandatory background checks and all the logistics and expenses that entails.

The museum director in Washington came to this decision reluctantly but unavoidably.  “I read through the law about 10 different times looking for a loophole,” he said.  He found none.  Unfortunately, there is no guidance at the state level because Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has reportedly not formed an opinion about I-594, and no authoritative interpretation of the initiative is available to the public, apart from the text of I-594 itself.  In the meantime, the museum’s attorney has stated he would welcome assurances from the state that it would not enforce the law to the detriment of the museum or the owners of the firearms on display.  To date, however, no such assurances have been forthcoming.

For his part, Geoff Potter, according to the Associated Press, now states that the museum scenario “is clearly not what was concerned when I-594 was designed,” and added, "You can't craft every possibility into every law."  The fact that advocates of I-594 ignored warnings by NRA and others of the measure’s overreach, however, tells a different story.  These consequences can hardly be considered unforeseen, and perhaps, unintended.  While even the staunchest supporters of the law do not appear to be arguing that the museum mishap somehow promotes public safety, it does serve their overarching goal of marginalizing the role of firearms in American life and history.

While we await news of other embarrassing and counterproductive consequences of the law, what is already obvious is that this poorly thought-out and badly drafted law goes too far, and will disproportionately, unnecessarily and unfairly burden law-abiding firearm owners.

Supporters of I-594 have indicated they will use the momentum from the Washington State vote to pursue similar “background check” campaigns in other states, including Nevada and Oregon.  Yet if I-594 in Washington is good for anything, it is to painfully illustrate how the gun-control agenda leads to the chilling of innocent conduct, potentially creates criminals out of decent people, requires the willful suppression of reason and reality, and has little to do with public safety.  Above all, it counsels that I-594 is a bad decision to be corrected, not one to be replicated in other states.

What other people read on this blog

Effing the ineffable - Washington State elections sometimes have been rigged.

“It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.”
-- Joseph Stalin