Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council released its updated economic forecast for the quarter and the news is astounding: more money than ever coming into the state!
The strong economy, coupled with less Washingtonians needing state services, has produced a state surplus of around $2.4 billion over the next few years. With this much money coming in, I believe it's time to give some back. I'm cosponsoring a billion-dollar tax reduction bill that includes fully funding the $30 car tabs. I also think we should be looking at reducing the state's portion of the property tax. Many of you are getting your property tax statements in the mail surprised at how much they've gone up. I understand and I'm working to reduce your property taxes.
While the original high-capacity magazine ban bill died in the House this week, a new one was introduced yesterday. House Bill 2947 contains a title that makes it difficult to amend and adds a buy-back program, likely making it NTIB (necessary to implement the budget) so it won't be subject to normal cutoff rules. We have a governor and state attorney general who desperately want to limit our Second Amendment rights, so I'm not surprised the majority party would go to these lengths with just three weeks left in session.
Mandatory sex education
In the House Education Committee this week, over 650 people signed in to oppose Senate Bill 5395 which would require comprehensive sex education in all grades, K-12. The committee hearing room was packed, forcing them to utilize several overflow areas. I was very impressed with the testimony from parents, teachers, school district officials, and even students. The public doesn't want the state deciding what's appropriate sex education for kindergartners and first graders, and I agree. I am hopeful we can kill this bill in the House. You can watch a short video of the day's proceedings here.
My bill to bring transparency and accountability to the cost of air ambulance services (HB 2755) passed the House this week and is now in the Senate.
My bill to give the director of L&I the ability to waive fines/fees of first responders if the action taken is to immediately save lives did not make it out of the House. You can read an article on the situation here. I'm going to continue working on this issue throughout the interim and may introduce similar legislation next year.
Thank you for reading my legislative report and for staying involved. Let my office know if you have questions or concerns on a state issue.