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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

We are now more than two-thirds of the way through the 2016 session. Below are the upcoming cutoff dates for bills that are moving through the legislative process:

Feb. 29, 2016: Last day for bills in House and Senate fiscal committees to be approved.

March 4, 2016: Last day for the House to pass Senate bills and vice-versa. Exceptions are initiatives and alternatives to initiatives, budgets and matters necessary to implement budgets, and differences between the House and Senate.

March 10, 2016: Last day of the 2016 session.

13th District Reps. Matt Manweller and Tom Dent have a conversation on the House floor. Feb. 16, 2016.

An update on legislation I've introduced

285 bills have passed off the House floor, including two of my own, House Bill 2925 and House Bill 2413.

House Bill 2925 passed the House in a 97-1 vote. The bill would require the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to allow citizens to access public lands to save their livestock in the event of a wildfire, so long as they didn't interfere with active fire responders. That caveat is important because we cannot have citizens impeding firefighters' efforts to battle wildfires. However, if they're not getting in the way, citizens should be allowed to move their livestock out of harm's way. These animals are a significant investment for ranchers like myself, but more importantly, good animal husbandry also means we must look after their health and safety. This bill passed unanimously out of the Senate Natural Resources and Parks Committee, and has been placed on the second reading calendar by the Senate Rules Committee.

The House also passed (in a 98-0 vote) my House Bill 2413, which would enable the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to levy a single $100 penalty on individuals whose aircraft registrations were 60 days or more past due.

Currently, state law sets the following penalties for late registration:

  • 60 to 119 days past due, the penalty is $100;
  • 120 days to 180 days past due, the penalty is $200; and
  • 180 or more days past due, the penalty is $400.

However, it doesn't make sense for WSDOT to fine Washingtonians upwards of $400 for being late in paying their $65 combined annual aircraft registration and excise tax fee. My bill still holds people accountable, but not excessively. This bill passed unanimously out of the Senate Transportation Committee, and is currently in the Senate Rules Committee.

Rep. Tom Dent, R-Moses Lake, speaks on the House floor. Feb. 15, 2016.

Telephone town hall tonight!

Tonight, I will be hosting an hour-long telephone town hall with fellow 13th District legislators, Sen. Judy Warnick and Rep. Matt Manweller. The program is similar to a call-in radio show, where people have the opportunity to call and ask questions over the telephone, as well as answer a series of poll questions.

The information you need to know is below. I hope you'll be able to join us tonight!

Recent radio interviews

In the past several weeks, I have had the opportunity to appear on several radio shows to discuss the 2016 legislative session. If you click the image below, you can access every radio appearance and learn more about what I've been up to.

Rep. Tom Dent's Soundcloud

Sponsoring House pages

I recently had the opportunity to sponsor two House pages, Samantha Davis and Vivienne Plumage. Davis is in the photo on the left below, Plumage is in the photo on the right.

As part of their page duties, both Samantha and Vivienne learned to navigate the many buildings on the Capitol campus and delivered messages and documents to legislators and staff. Additionally, they attended page school to understand the operations of the Legislature. I was happy to have the opportunity to sponsor them both!

If you know of a student who would be interested in serving in the House Page Program next session, please click here to learn more. To become a page, applicants must have a legislative sponsor, be between the ages of 14 and 16, and obtain written permission from their parents and school. Pages earn $35 per day.

Rep. Tom Dent, R-Moses Lake, with House pages Samantha Davis (L) and Vivienne Plumage (R).

Contacting me

Please continue to get in touch with me with any comments, questions or concerns. My email address is tom.dent@leg.wa.gov and my phone number is (360) 786-7932.

It is an honor to serve as your state representative.


Tom Dent

State Representative Tom Dent, 13th Legislative District
437 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
360-786-7932 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000