Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The majority party in Olympia passed a business and occupation (B&O) tax increase last night that is unnecessary, unaffordable and ignores voters who have consistently said 'no' to tax increases.
Senate Bill 6492 is a bill that was rushed through the legislative process…to fix a bill from last year that was rushed through the legislative process!
The bill will expand the tax increase to 4,400 new businesses who provide 465,000 jobs. It will affect a total of 14,000 businesses and 886,000 employees.
All of this at a time when Washington taxpayers are giving more of their hard-earned tax dollars than ever before. We continue to see record revenue increases. In fact, our revenue forecast is up around $1.7 billion since the Legislature passed the 2019-20 operating budget less than 12 months ago. What happens when the inevitable recession arrives? State government is spending way beyond its means right now. What are you getting for your hard-earned dollars?
Despite offering over 30 amendments (none were accepted) and several hours of debate on the House floor, the majority party passed the bill with no support from Republicans. This is in addition to last week's low-carbon fuel standard which will raise gas prices (up to 57 cents per gallon), increase the costs of goods, and impact every family budget.
7th Legislative District telephone town hall
Thank you to all who participated in our telephone town hall on Wednesday night. We had over 1,100 participants asking questions and listening to a great discussion about the issues we're dealing with in Olympia. Here are the survey questions we asked and the results:
Do you support legislation to teach comprehensive sex education to students in kindergarten and first grade?
YES – 9.5%
NO – 90.5%
From a scale of 1-5, with 1 being “highly accessible” and 5 being “no access,” please rate your access to quality health care.
1 (highly accessible) = 21.8%
2 (good access) = 25.5%
3 (some access) = 20.6%
4 (not very good access) 18.2%
5 (no access) 13.9%
From a scale of 1-5, with 1 being “highly accessible” and 5 being “no access,” please rate your region's access to affordable housing.
1 (highly accessible) = 12.6%
2 (good access) = 14.3%
3 (some access) = 21.8%
4 (not very good access) 31.9%
5 (no access) 19.3%
In a previous legislative update I discussed my package of bills to support law enforcement and provide better training and more officers for rural areas. As I mentioned before, our state has the lowest number of law enforcement per capita in the nation. My bill, House Bill 2560, would require the Criminal Justice Training Center (CJTC) to provide at least 15 basic law enforcement academy trainings per fiscal year. This bill passed the Public Safety Committee and is now in the Appropriations Committee.
I had the opportunity to discuss law enforcement, public safety issues, the death penalty and more on TVW this week. You can watch that interview here. You can listen to my radio interview with KVI's Kirby Wilbur here. We discuss $30 car tabs, public safety and the Second Amendment.
Thank you for staying involved and for allowing me to be our collective voice in Olympia. I'm working hard to keep our families safe, hold state government accountable, and make living in our beautiful 7th District more affordable.