Rep. Vicki Kraft begins third term representing 17th Legislative District

Kraft said her top priority in the first weeks of the session will be safely reopening the economy and reforming the governor’s emergency powers

Rep. Vicki Kraft (R-Vancouver) was sworn in Monday (Jan. 11), on the first day of the 2021 legislative session in Olympia to begin her third term as state representative for the 17th Legislative District.

“It is an honor to be back representing the people of our district and bringing their voice to Olympia. We have some especially unique challenges to address in the 2021 session as we try to cope with this pandemic and restore our businesses, jobs and lives,” said Kraft.

Rep. Vicki Kraft
Rep. Vicki Kraft

Kraft said her top priority in the first weeks of the session will be safely reopening the economy and reforming the governor’s emergency powers.

“For nearly 10 months, it’s been one man, the governor, who has dictated through emergency proclamations, how our state is run, picking winners and losers along the way. Numerous requests by House and Senate Republicans for a special session to be called and allow elected representatives to govern during the governor’s shutdowns were ignored. There’s a lot of people and businesses hurting right now, and they need help. We, and the citizens of our state, will be ignored no longer,” said Kraft.

“When the Legislature created the governor’s emergency powers in the 1970s, they were only thinking about a short-term statewide emergency, such as an earthquake, volcano blast, or other disaster that could be contained within 30 days or so. They never intended to give the governor extended one-man rule for nearly a year or longer,” added Kraft. “I will be supporting reform legislation that tightens our emergency statutes and removes the imbalance that has occurred these past months between the executive and legislative branches. We will also be looking at ways to provide immediate relief to our businesses, property owners and citizens impacted by the pandemic and the shutdown.”

Kraft said she would also support legislation to protect individual rights and freedom of choice as COVID vaccines are rolled out.

“No one should be required to get the shot, and no one should be denied services, employment or access to public places if they choose not to be vaccinated,” noted Kraft.

The Vancouver Republican also plans to reintroduce her legislation that would give parents the ability to choose the learning environment that best meets their child’s needs. The K-12 Education Scholarship Program would provide $7,000 per student to be used for costs related to private school or homeschool instruction.

“No one knows better than parents what is best for their children. Parents are also taxpayers. Therefore, it makes sense they should be able to use the same funding that would follow their student to a public school for an education at a private school or for homeschool learning,” said Kraft. “Parents should be able to decide how and where their children are educated — not government.”

Kraft recently received her committee assignments for the 2021-22 biennium. She will serve on the House Capital Budget Committee, the College and Workforce Development Committee, and the Community and Economic Development Committee.

“We have a lot to do in this 105-day session. I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work,” she added.

The 2021 legislative session is scheduled to continue until April 25.

Information provided by Washington State House Republicans,