Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It didn't take long for the majority party in the House to unveil their newest attempt at taking more taxpayer dollars. Here's an article from The Seattle Times:
The Democrat plan for an 18-cent gas tax increase on top of new carbon fees could increase the price of a gallon of gas by a dollar! If implemented, Washington state's gas tax (including the federal tax) would increase to 85.4 cents-per-gallon, the highest in the nation. Compare that to Idaho at 50.4 cents and Oregon at 54.4 cents.
Washington state drivers might even pay more if the governor's low carbon fuel standard is implemented. He mentioned it in his state of the state address last week and is committed to making it part of his political legacy.
I don't believe now – with families struggling and many small businesses closing – is the time to place another tax burden on the people. I agree with my House Republican colleague, Rep. Andrew Barkis, and ranking member on the House Transportation Committee:
“It is no secret we have a transportation problem in this state, and that our priorities have become misplaced. We should be working on reprioritizing our budget to work within our means by focusing on existing revenue and shifting the sales tax revenue paid on vehicles from the operating budget to the transportation budget. We also need to address the backlog of preservation and maintenance projects, and complete all projects in a timelier manner, with less regulatory burdens. Republicans continue to offer real solutions that are fiscally responsible and do not raise taxes.”
Legislature cedes more power to Gov. Inslee…
The first legislation passed by the majority party in both the House and Senate last week was Senate Concurrent Resolution 8402. It rolled up 26 of the Inslee's emergency proclamations and extended them until he deems the emergency is over. This abdication of legislative oversight and authority is unconscionable. We have separate branches of government to provide “checks and balances.” With this proclamation, the majority party gave one man more power than our state and national founding fathers never envisioned nor intended. We need to respect the state constitution and the separation of powers. This legislation is not good governance and I voted against it. You can watch the TVW debate here.
Legislation to reopen our economy draws 1,600 to virtual committee hearing…
In probably the largest online virtual committee hearing to date, Senate Bill 5114 proved the citizens, employees, employers and small business owners want to see our economy opened back up. The bill would immediately move the entire state to Phase 2 of the governor's “Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery” plan. Fitness centers, indoor entertainment and restaurants could return to 25% indoor capacity. This is something I believe is long overdue.
Thank you for reading my email update and for staying involved. As a reminder, if you want to testify or submit written testimony in the House of Representatives, click here. To testify remotely or submit written testimony for bills being heard in the Senate, click here.