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LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Lawmakers droned on about accomplishments
We attended the Town Hall meeting of our three Republican state legislators in Langley last week on Thursday. It was a waste of our time. The legislators droned on for a total of 60 minutes painting a rosy picture of all their numerous, bipartisan accomplishments.
During the last two legislative sessions, there was virtually nothing accomplished on a bipartisan basis in the state Legislature, dealing with taxes, transportation, wages, health care, worker rights, unions, government transparency, and even education — there was no bipartisanship shown by our three legislators or any other Republican in Olympia.
With only 30 minutes for questions, just six questions were asked before everyone had to leave. For four of the questions each legislator took the microphone to drone on, frequently not fully addressing the concerns of the questioner.
My question for Senator Bailey is: Many voters in the district have serious concerns about your lengthy history of sponsoring, co-sponsoring and otherwise supporting bills that are based on “model” legislation written by the corporate-sponsored American Legislative Exchange Council (or ALEC).
This past session alone you sponsored, co-sponsored and/or otherwise supported a number of bills that were part of ALEC’s national legislative campaign against low-paid workers. For example, you and your fellow ALEC-affiliated legislators in the Senate introduced ALEC “model” legislation designed to weaken or repeal state minimum wage laws and overtime compensation rules (SB 5158), reduce minimum wages for young or “new” workers (SB 5275) and stop local governments from passing living wage ordinances (i.e., another ALEC-inspired bill that would set aside Republicans aversion to state government control over local issues by preempting any county, city or town from setting employment standards, including minimum wages and paid sick leave and retaining it at the state level) (SB 6307).
My questions are: (1) How long have you been a member of ALEC; (2) are you still a member of its powerful Health and Human Services Task Force, which is comprised mainly of corporations from the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries which contribute heavily to your campaign; and (3) is it your intention to continue working to advance the ALEC anti-worker agenda in Washington state?
DONNA LEE AND GREGORY RIDLEY