Dear Friends and Neighbors,
As I mentioned in my last email update, House Republicans are focused this session on community safety, life affordability and government accountability. As we move into the second half of this year's 60-day session, it's the latter two issues that have really come to the forefront.
Two weeks ago, the majority party brought a bill to the floor that would implement a low-carbon fuel standard mandate in an attempt to reduce the amount of carbon in Washington's atmosphere. The mandate would significantly increase fuel suppliers' costs, which would then be passed down to you and me. Gas prices would rise (one estimate predicts by as much as 57 cents per gallon within 10 years), as would the cost of everyday items at the grocery store. Homebuilding would slow due to higher transportation and material costs, and small trucking companies already dealing with razor-thin margins would be put out of business. All for a fractional reduction in the carbon in our atmosphere. As I said on the House floor, House Bill 1110 simply doesn't pass the cost-benefit analysis test:
Despite our best efforts, the bill passed 52-44.
The other significant bill the majority party brought to the floor in the first half of session expands the B&O tax increase they passed last year to even more businesses. The 85,000 businesses that first got hit by the tax increase didn't generate quite enough revenue for the majority's liking, so they chose to expand it to another 4,400. It took them just three weeks to introduce the bill, pass it in both chambers, and get it to the governor's desk. That's fast.
The reason our caucus is so focused on life affordability and government accountability is because of the majority's blatant lack of respect for the will of the people. Time and time again, voters have made their feelings clear on taxes. Not only did they support multiple initiatives that would have required a two-thirds supermajority in the House and Senate to raise taxes, but they also rejected higher taxes in the form of a state income tax, a carbon tax, and local soda taxes. Their message has been clear for quite some time now: “No means no.”
House Republicans understand that. On the other side of the aisle, however, there seems to be an attitude of “That's great, but we know better than you do.” While we don't have the votes to stop their efforts, I assure you we will continue fighting for you and your family every day until the final gavel comes down. We are committed to making Washington an affordable place to live and holding the majority accountable for the decisions they make.
Please continue standing with us as we stand with you. Stay informed and engaged. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and share our content. Together, we can make a difference for our communities and the state.
Legislative priorities survey results
It took a while for us to compile the data from the 1,600+ response cards we got back from the survey we sent out in December, but we finally did it! As promised, here are the results:
Q1: What do you believe is the top priority the Legislature should address during the 2020 session?
Q2: If you could direct how $100 of your tax dollars would be spent on homelessness, you would prefer to see those dollars go toward:
Questions 3-8 from the survey:
Thank you to everyone who took the time to provide Sen. Zeiger, Rep. Gildon and me with your feedback! Please know we hear you, we understand your concerns, and we are working hard on the issues you care most about.
I welcome you to contact me any time with your comments, questions or concerns. My phone number is (360) 786-7948, and my email address is Kelly.Chambers@leg.wa.gov. I look forward to hearing from you!