Washington House Republicans recently announced their ranking member and House committee assignments for the upcoming 2021 legislative session. Rep. Jim Walsh (R-Aberdeen) was selected as the lead Republican for the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee, which considers a wide variety of legal issues. This critical House committee considers proposals dealing with privacy rights; constitutional law; anti-discrimination measures; commercial law; torts; probate; guardianships; civil commitment; forensic mental health; firearms; eminent domain; and other legal matters.
"Many of our foundational individual rights are under attack these days," Walsh said. "We're seeing an old, bad bargain being presented again: that Washingtonians should trade essential liberty for loose talk of temporary security. In a time such as this, my colleagues have entrusted me with this position of leadership on the House's Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee. I will honor their trust by relentlessly defending the foundational rights promised to all Washingtonians."
Besides the Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee, Walsh will serve as the assistant ranking member on the House Education Committee.
"I'm excited about being asked to help lead this important House committee," Walsh said. "The COVID outbreaks will forever mark the year 2020 and have a profound effect on K-12 education in the state of Washington. I look forward to working with teachers, administrators, parents, employers and other interested parties to improve the K-12 education we provide to this state's students. Because, when it comes to education, our kids come first."
Walsh will also serve as assistant ranking member on the House State Government and Tribal affairs Committee, which considers a wide array of issues related to state government, including Washington state's elections.
"One of this committee's chief responsibilities is to oversee and make policy related to Washington's elections," Walsh said. "In this capacity, House members need to do everything they can to make sure that state law requiring counties to keep their voter rolls up-to-date is being followed. It's also an important forum for maintaining the strong relationship between the state and Native American Tribes that live here. I look forward to building upon our great relations with our tribal neighbors."
And finally, Walsh will continue as a member of the House Transportation Committee. "I'm glad to be returning to this critical House committee, where I hope to help maintain, preserve and expand Washington's transportation infrastructure without adding additional tax burdens on the working people of the state," Walsh said.
The 2021 Washington Legislative Session is scheduled to begin Jan. 11 and convene for 105 days.