Newsletter February 24, 2023

The State House session was Feb. 22-23 with surprises.

On the 22nd, HB639 for legalizing and regulating cannabis passed overwhelmingly (234-127). This bill takes marijuana to a fully regulated business, like alcohol and tobacco. Unfortunately, the bill would open the door to ALL other drugs, methamphetamine, fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, etc. Therefore we voted against it. To become law, it would have to pass in the Senate, and the Governor would have to sign it. If a clean cannabis bill comes to the floor, we will revisit it.

HB272 increasing chartered public school per pupil funding passed (318-11). The education committee support was bipartisan, with a recommendation to pass (19-1). Clayton testified at the public hearing on this bill and was impressed by bipartisan support.

HB57 attempted to raise the state’s minimum hourly wage, currently at $7.50 to $15.00 by 2025, and was killed (186-183). The labor market is establishing the rate. Local businesses are already at, near, or above $15/hr.

HB191, which would repeal a prohibition on a state agency operating a voluntary firearm “surrender and destroy” program was killed (237-121). If anyone needs to “surrender” a firearm, any local gunsmith will be willing to do it for them, including destroying it! The owners may be surprised at how much their weapons are worth!

Now for the BIG surprise. On the 23rd, the majority moved to the Democrats. Democrats took the opportunity to remove certain bills that were tabled at the session on Feb 14th. These bills could now be voted on. HB430 will require a parent to send their student to a public school for at least one year to qualify for the EFA program. Forcing a parent to send a child to a school they do not want makes no sense and will result in higher education costs to the state.

That the house decorum was not up to its standard during the next few hours is an understatement. The Democrats passed several energy bills that took away money from the consumers, resulting in higher monthly electricity bills.

Cyril testified in favor of America’s favorite modern sporting rifle and against HR8 asking congress to ban commonly used firearms. It was defeated.

Sincerely, Representatives Clayton Wood and Cyril Aures