Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Let’s start with the good news…
Eight of the nine bills I prime-sponsored this session have survived cutoff, and two of them were unanimously passed by the Senate today.
SB 5213 is a “good little bill” that would allow Limited License Legal Technicians to be fairly compensated for the good work they do on behalf of victims of domestic violence.
SB 6292 is an important bill, which would use modern advances in technology to provide an additional level of protection for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking by using real-time electronic monitoring with direct victim notification. Violations of domestic violence protection orders frequently become life or death situations, where every minute counts. Real-time victim notification technology would give a victim the chance – both physically and mentally – to leave the area or prepare themselves for an encounter so they can protect themselves and survive.
SB 6293 would allow Clark County to set up a deferred prosecution program for vehicle license fraud. The Washington State Patrol admits to under-enforcing current vehicle licensing laws, which is costing the state well over $16 million a year. My bill will give them some additional tools to increase enforcement, hold violators accountable, and increase compliance with the law. I expect a floor vote on this bill very soon, possibly as early as tonight.
And now for the bad news…
Last week I alerted you to SB 6203, Governor Inslee’s carbon tax proposal, which is really just a regressive new tax on energy. If this bill passes, we will all experience an immediate increase in gas taxes, home heating bills, and energy costs. What’s worse, the bill would have zero impact on Washington’s carbon emissions and none of the increased gas taxes would go towards reducing congestion or maintaining our state’s highways!
The bill also contains exemptions for 57 different industry groups to buy their support for the plan – so many exemptions in fact, that it’s often easier to explain who will pay the tax, than who will not. Small businesses will pay, while big businesses that emit significant carbon will not. If you drive a car you will pay, if you fly a private jet, you will not. Food manufacturing, pulp mills, refineries, newsprint factories, chemical and fertilizer manufacturing, aircraft and aircraft parts manufacturing (read: Boeing) – all are exempt! Proponents admit right in the bill language that this scheme will have a disproportionate impact on low income families, so they create a special transition account to help them pay for it. All of this results in middle-income families being left holding the bag!
How can you stop this?
You can count on my opposition to this very bad bill, but I would prefer if it never got brought to the floor for a vote at all. Here is how you can help:
- E-mail the members of the Senate Ways & Means Committee.
- Comment on the bill using the legislative website.
- Sign up for bill tracking updates so you will be notified immediately when the bill moves.
- Submit written testimony to the Ways & Means Committee staff so your opinion is part of the official record.
- Contact your legislators so they know how you feel.
- Call the toll-free Legislative Hotline at 1.800.562.6000 and leave a message for Governor Inslee.
- Contact my office at 360.786.7632 or email@example.com if you have questions.
In case you missed it!
Earlier this week I shared a couple of noteworthy items on my Official Senate Facebook Page. Be sure to follow me on Facebook for all the latest!
It is my honor to represent you in the State Senate.
Yours in service,