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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

We have been on the House floor all week with most legislators participating remotely. This is the time of session where long days and nights are spent briefing all House members on bills that have passed through their respective policy committees. We debate, draw up amendments, and vote on legislation that will have an impact on your life in some way or another.

Transportation

This week, the majority party introduced their transportation plan. Here are a few key points:

  • It would begin in 2022 and is a 16-year package with anticipated revenues of $16 billion.
  • Where this proposal does not raise the state's gas tax, it does raise fees that will impact every Washingtonian.
  • This proposal requires vehicle owners and drivers to pay more for non-driver related modes of transportation.
  • Under this proposal, only electric vehicles may be purchased, sold, or registered in Washington state after vehicle model year 2030.
  • One of the funding sources for this proposal is the Climate Commitment Act (CCA). One of the revenue sources of the CCA is cap-and-trade which will impact the price of gas.

I believe we have a better vision for Washington state. We introduced our plan in December that would modernize transportation funding by utilizing the general fund, preserving and maintaining our existing infrastructure, working to complete the backlog of projects, and redirecting vehicle sales tax to transportation projects – all without raising taxes and fees on anyone or anything. In addition, I believe citizens should be able to buy the vehicle that's best for them without the government telling them what to do.

Another transportation bill appears to be dead for the session. House Bill 2026, the Road Usage Charge (RUC), is a vehicle-miles-travelled-tax. I've heard different names for this idea over the years but one thing hasn't changed: most of my constituents don't want it. I've heard from many of you that this is not something you want to see enacted here in Washington state.

Gun bills

The Senate recently passed Senate Bill 5078 which would ban firearms magazines capable of carrying more than 10 rounds of ammunition. This so-called “high capacity magazine” ban has been proposed several times over the years but has never passed the full Legislature. I will vote against this bill if it comes up in the House. I do not believe we should be limiting anyone's ability to defend themselves. If we want to crack down on crime – and we should – there are better ways to do that than to violate our citizens' Second Amendment rights.

In a late-night debate that lasted until nearly 1:00 a.m. this morning, the majority party in the House passed House Bill 1705. This bill would make it impossible for target shooters and gun enthusiasts to participate in their hobby of assembling their own firearms from various parts. It is a misguided attempt at going after so-called “ghost guns” that can't be traced because they don't contain specific serial numbers. I voted against this bill. What was especially egregious to me is that it is retroactive to 2019, meaning many gun owners would be forced to turn over their guns or potentially face charges. I'm not sure this bill is enforceable as it is written.

9th Legislative District Zoom town hall

As a reminder, please mark your calendars for our 9th Legislative District Zoom town hall meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 22, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Go to tinyurl.com/9thDistrictTownHall to register for the event.

Text alerts

I mentioned this in last week's email update, but wanted to continue to encourage you to sign up for text alerts. You can opt out at any time. It is yet another way for us to keep you updated on what's happening in the Legislature. Please consider signing up at this platform

Thank you for reading my email update and for staying involved. It is an honor to serve you in the state Legislature.

Sincerely,


Joe Schmick

State Representative Joe Schmick, 9th Legislative District
RepresentativeJoeSchmick.com
426B Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
joe.schmick@leg.wa.gov
(253) 275-1425 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000