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WashingtonVotes NEWS: Friday, April 30, 2021

WashingtonVotes Annual "Missed Votes" Report for 2021

Every year, WashingtonVotes releases a "missed votes" report on lawmakers, compiling how many floor votes each lawmaker missed during the legislative session. Before the report is released, those with the most votes missed are asked for comment or explanation so that their missed votes can be read within context. For example, often votes are missed due to personal or family illness.

The full 2021 Missed Votes report is available by clicking "Missed Votes" under the Special Reports heading on the WashingtonVotes home page. Or enter: https://www.washingtonvotes.org/MissedVotes.aspx

Below are explanations from lawmakers who responded to our request to provide context to their missed votes for the report.  Lawmaker and/or their staff comments are provided verbatim.

2021 Regular Session Missed Votes Report: Legislators’ Comments:

• From State Representative Jake Fey (D-27th,Tacoma)

"The votes I missed happened because I was at medical appointments for my fractured wrist. I had to make the appointments well in advance and happened to coincide with when we were on the floor and I was excused."

• From State Senator Jim Honeyford (R-15th, Sunnyside)

"The short answer for why I unfortunately missed votes this session is due to medical reasons. Both my wife and I are over 70 years-old and the Washington State Phase Finder recommended five sites in Olympia where we could be vaccinated again COVID-19. However, we were not able to receive a vaccine appointment at any of those Olympia-area sites. We were able to return home to the Yakima Valley to receive our shots. We could only schedule an appointment for a Friday, which required me to miss a full day of voting.

If we had waited for the WA State Phase Finder for an appointment, we would not even had been contacted until two weeks after we had already received our second shot back in Yakima county. Thank God we didn’t wait! I also missed 2-3 votes due to connectivity problems at the Legislature, as I was working from my office in the Newhouse building and not on the floor."

•From State Senator Jeff Holy (R-6th, Spokane)

"Washington Votes – Thank you for the opportunity to answer your inquiry. This session, I had been excused for a total of 3 out of 105 days. On April 3rd, the Senate had scheduled an unplanned session on a Saturday that was not on the original session calendar; and it was a day my son and his fiancé had planned their wedding – a year in advance.

On April 14th and 15th, I had asked to be excused to attend an unexpected, out-of-state funeral for a family member. The bulk of the votes missed occurred on these days. Being after the “Opposite House Cutoff”, most of these (40) were concurrence votes where the Senate was agreeing to amending language from the opposite house. I note that I had already had the opportunity to vote on each policy proposal in their initial passage out of the Senate. I’m sure anyone can appreciate being with family under these circumstances." Respectfully, Jeff Holy

•From the staff of State Representative Joel McEntire (R-19th, Cathlamet)

"Rep. McEntire is in the active Marine Reserves and his duty weekend (which was actually Thursday -Sunday) fell on the last week of session. I think he was able to make several of the votes over the four days but I’m almost positive that all of the 23 missed votes were over this last weekend during his reserve duties. Thank you so much for sending the email inquiry. !! Much appreciated." Respectfully, Suzi Ryan Legislative Assistant for Rep. Joel McEntire

•From State Senator Doug Ericksen (R-42nd, Ferndale)

"People miss votes every year, this year I was in el Salvador monitoring their elections where they actually require Voter ID. Even the poorest can get ID. I didn’t miss a single vote where I would have been the 25th “yes” because of the lack of bipartisanship by the Democrats this year. Unfortunately there we not a lot of opportunities where they tried to bring in Republicans."

•From State Senate Democrat Caucus Chief of Staff Paulette Avalos on behalf of: State Senator Steve Hobbs (D-44th, Lake Stevens) State Senator Kevin Van de Wege (D-24th, Sequim)

"After checking with the communication’s specialists for Senators Hobbs and Van de Wege, I found the following: Senator Van de Wege was excused due to his firefighter/EMT votes for all but two of the missed votes and Senator Hobbs was at Guard duty for the bulk of his missed votes." Paulette

•From Legislative Assistant Phil Janzen on behalf of State Representative Mike Volz (R-6th, Spokane)

"Not contesting the count but just to say REP Volz was ill and out for 3 days…." Thanks, Phil

WashingtonVotes.org is a free service provided by Washington Policy Center and is the go-to tracking tool to keep up with all the action in Olympia, especially during this mostly virtual session. Please check in often and follow us on Facebook and Twitter at #waleg.

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New Laws Passed
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