Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It's been a long week with most of our time spent on the House floor voting on legislation or in caucus going over long lists of bills that the majority party could bring up for a full vote at any time. We have until next Wednesday to pass House bills over to the Senate. At that point, any House bills (other than bills “necessary to implement the budget”) still in the House are considered dead for the session.
Transportation: Fix it before you fund it!
In my previous e-newsletters I've talked about the majority party's plan to raise the gas tax by 10 cents per gallon, along with an assortment of other taxes and fees, to fund new mega transportation projects around the state. I don't support a gas tax increase and neither do my House Republican colleagues. Instead, we're saying “fix it before you fund it.” In other words, let's reform our transportation system so that we can create jobs, make state gas tax dollars go further, ensure accountability, and protect taxpayers.
To read more about our plan, click here.
You can also read some of the recent news stories here:
Not to sound alarmist, but our House Minority Leader Richard DeBolt recently attended a legislative function put on by the labor unions in this state. He was the only Republican on the speaking panel. But what he heard over and over throughout the event was a promise – and absolute commitment – from the Democrat legislators that taxes would be raised this year. This isn't empty rhetoric, folks. This is the real deal.
With the state Supreme Court ruling last week against the two-thirds legislative vote for tax increases, the other side doesn't need one vote from us; they can do it all on their own. It looks like they're setting a target of around $3 billion in tax increases for the general fund – on top of the $9.5 billion they want for transportation projects. I sincerely hope the majority coalition in the Senate sticks together to defeat any taxes that come out of the House. Stay tuned.
It's always great to see folks from home when I'm in Olympia. I appreciate hearing your views and suggestions. We may not agree on every issue, but please know that my door is always open and I'm a good listener!
I recently had the privilege of visiting with folks from Lakeland Village. It was a pleasure to have them here. If you are in Olympia or planning to visit, please make sure to contact my office so that we can set aside some time for you, order a photographer, and help make sure your trip to the state Capitol is a success!
Thanks for the opportunity to serve you in Olympia. And thanks again for reading my e-newsletter and staying involved in your government.