Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Earlier today, Democrats in the House Finance Committee passed a series of tax increases including an income tax on capital gains. Their plan increases taxes on small business, employers, families and those trying to sell a house, to the tune of about $4.5 billion. It also does away with the out-of-state sales tax exemption which will severely damage local economies in border counties like we have in the 9th Legislative District.
I continue to believe we have enough revenue from taxpayers to fully fund our priorities. With billions of dollars in surplus, raising taxes now has less to do with necessity and everything to do with ideology: raising taxes simply to raise them.
Snake River dam survey
Last week, I talked about a concerted effort by environmentalists and a Seattle public relations firm to generate public opinion against the dams. You know where I stand on this issue. And while I believe I know where you stand, I asked you to take part in a quick online survey (you can still do that here if you missed out) to let me know what you think about removing the Snake River Dams. Here are the results so far:
The Tri-City Herald recently wrote a great editorial on this issue here. And you can read an op-ed that my seatmate, Rep. Mary Dye, and I recently wrote here. Please stay tuned for more information about the Snake River dams. This issue is not over. It will continue to be a fight.
Some of our wins this year
Legislative victories take shape in several forms. Sometimes we get a bill passed into law, or add an amendment to a bad bill making it better. Sometimes it's by defeating really bad bills before they can become law. From where I sit, here are just a few of the victories we've had this year:
- Passed legislation eliminating the statute of limitations for most sexual crimes;
- Passed legislation to assist veterans in rural counties;
- Passed wildfire prevention legislation;
- Passed missing/murdered Native American women bill;
- Defeated legislation repealing the death penalty from state law;
- Defeated legislation mandating plastic bags;
- Defeated legislation mandating plastic straws;
- Defeated bad labor/contractor bills;
- Defeated the Senate “environmental justice” bill;
- Defeated (fingers crossed) the low carbon fuel standard bill.
While this is not an exhaustive list by any means, it gives you an idea of some of the good and bad that has come out of Olympia. Also, with a special session looming, some of this could change.
Thanks for reading my email update and for staying involved. Serving you in Olympia continues to be one of the highest honors of my life.