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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

It has been a fast-paced start to the 2019 legislative session. We are at the end of the third week. It's an honor to be the newest representative for the 39th Legislative District.

In odd numbered years, such as 2019, the Legislature writes the biennial budget. For the majority of session, we will be discussing, debating and approving the state's spending plans: the operating, transportation and capital budgets. One of my committee assignments is serving on the House Appropriations Committee. This committee hears and handles the bills that will affect the operating budget.

Along with these budgets, we will be considering hundreds of bills. I will be working on several key public policy concerns but my legislative priorities will remain focused around: second amendment rights; property rights, including reducing property taxes; water rights; education and school safety; encouraging small business growth; and transportation. For more information on my goals, please watch my legislative video update. 

Aligning priorities with key issues | Second Amendment rights

Second Amendment rights, and ensuring they are not infringed upon, will always be one of my top priorities, and a key issue the Legislature consistently debates. I am happy to announce I have introduced my first bipartisan bill that would establish an exemption from background check requirements for firearm sales or transfers between concealed pistol license (CPL) holders.  

Under current statute (RCW 9.41.113), if a CPL holder wants to sell or transfer a firearm to another CPL holder, a secondary background check must be conducted. My bill would amend current statute to allow Washington state residents who hold concealed pistol licenses to sell or trade firearms amongst each other without an additional background check.

For more information on House Bill 1649, please click here.

Aligning priorities with key issues | Supporting small business

This week, a huge issue came forward as the majority party tried to step on the feet of small business owners and sole proprietors, specifically hairdressers and cosmetologists, across the state.

, known as the “ban the booth bill,” would have impacted an entire industry of people, mostly women, who rent space in a salon in order to conduct their daily business.

It was impressive to see the hundreds of hairdressers who came to Olympia to rally together fighting for their livelihood, letting their voices be heard, and opposing a terrible piece of legislation. And, in case you haven't heard, because of the valiant efforts of this entire industry, the bill is dead in its tracks! It will not be moving forward!

This issue hit home for me as my daughter is a hairdresser. We usually don't speak politics, but this bill brought us together to fight for the same cause. My family is living proof that the bills introduced, and decisions made under the dome in Olympia, have a direct impact on working-class families.

Save the date | 39th District town halls

I will be co-hosting two town hall meetings around the 39th District with my seatmates – Rep. Carolyn Eslick and Sen. Keith Wagoner. The events will take place on Saturday, March 16 at the following locations:

Time: 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Where: Darrington Library (1005 Cascade St)

Time: 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Where: Concrete High School Commons (7830 S Superior Ave)

We hope you will join us!

Stay in touch with me!

Please feel free to contact my office with any questions, issues or concerns. I'm your voice in Olympia, and I want to hear from you. My Legislative Assistant is Jaime Rowland, and she is happy to assist you.

It's an honor to serve you.


Robert J. Sutherland
WA State Representative, District 39

State Representative Robert J. Sutherland, 39th Legislative District
405 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
360-786-7967 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000