From the office of WA Senator Pam Roach:
Dear Friends –
This is my busiest time of the year, I would say even busier than Christmas time!
Thank you so much for participating in our sportsmen advisory council meeting and showing your support for our rights to hunt and fish. Events like these are critical to supporting the shooting sport.
I want to make sure we keep our momentum going by not only giving an update but by letting you know what the future plans are for this summer. Our primary goal is to come up with a Sportsmen’s agenda. We need to have that agenda ready for next session. We need to prioritize what we want, put it into bill form, find legislators to sponsor, gather co-sponsors for the legislation, and have it ready to be dropped in the “hopper” the first week of December. This is all very achievable with a solid plan behind it.
Working with our Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, we will be meeting with you at least twice before next session. We will meet during the months of June and September. Hopefully, this will be scheduled on legislative assembly days when our legislators are already gathered to meet in Olympia. Those specific dates have not yet been set.
These will be work sessions but if you can begin formulating your ideas right now we will be able to make maximum use of our time. These are work sessions, but any legislator can have any bill drawn up at any time.
If you can provide a concept and specific details, we will begin working with you to draw up legislation. By the time we are done, you will know how to get a bill going. You will be your own lobbyist. You will have your own pipeline to the legislature.
In summary, I anticipate our next meeting will be in the month of June. Through your early suggestions, I believe we will have at least 10 bill drafts ready for that meeting. You should bring a list of things you want to accomplish; think large items, think small items. If the legislature is still in session, we can actually begin collecting signatures of co-sponsors for our new bills. Details of the process will be discussed at a later time, but it does involve citizen efforts.
By way of report, all expenses from our advisory meeting and our legislative shootout have been covered and we have enough left on hand to move forward for our advisory meeting.
Over 50 of us participated in our meeting with WDFW director and Sen. Pearson.
In the afternoon we had over 75 individuals – many of them legislators -- shoot and turn in their scorecards. It was our most well attended shootout to date, and there were many that did not turn in their score-cards, but enjoyed shooting all the same. As an aside, I want to begin expanding our afternoon activities to bring in more sportsmen and lobbyists. We will work on that part next year.
Since we want to move forward between now and June, please submit your ideas in writing and your contact information. Be as detailed as possible, and include the reasoning for your idea. We want to make sure the bill, if enacted, will do what you want it to do. Initially, please stay away from the absolutely impossible. We want to concentrate on what is politically possible to begin with.
I will be sending you a list of bills that may be of interest to sportsmen currently moving through the process. The bills that are on this list have already left the house of origin are what we call “alive.” These bills still have a chance of passage. As my staff and I have more time, we will list the bills that “died” along the way.
We seek to band together 3 groups: those that hunt, those that fish, and those that protect the 2nd amendment. We have already decided that we are going to be working to put the strength of numbers behind our efforts.
Again, thank you so much for your participation and your patience with me at this busy time. Please call my office at (360) 786-7660 for any assistance you might need.
Senator Pam Roach
P.S. Below, please find links to current bills that affect sportsmen in Washington State.
HB 1118 - Allows DFW to develop and charge for a mobile app for licenses and regulation info. Makes many mandatory reporting and program activities permissive http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary ... &year=2015
HB 1620 - Increases the current biotoxin testing surcharge by $1 the fee for recreational shellfish licenses. http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary ... &year=2015
HB 1627 - Specifically adds unlawful entry on lands to collect wildlife parts to the existing crime relating to trespassing for hunting purposes. http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary ... &year=2015
SHB 1676 - Creates a study to look at impacts on ungulates due to wolves. http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary ... &year=2015
SHB 2107 – Establishes a collaborative process to review the state's wolf management plan. http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary ... &year=2015
SB 5137 – Provides a free discover pass to 100% disabled veterans. http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary ... &year=2015
SB 5205 - Allows spouses to combine volunteer hours to reach the 24 hour threshold to qualify for a free discover pass. http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary ... &year=2015
SSB 5583 - Directs the Fish and Wildlife to consider changes to endangered species classification on a regional, as opposed to a statewide, basis. http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary ... &year=2015
SB 5627 - Provides a discover pass exemption to properly licensed ORVs. http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary ... &year=2015
SSB 5960 - Establishes a collaborative process to review the state's wolf management plan. http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary ... &year=2015
SSJM 8007 - Requests Congress to provide NOAA with enough resources to expedite review of the permits necessary for Puget Sound hatchery programs. http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary ... &year=2015