The 2019 legislative session has begun. I'm in Olympia fighting for common-sense solutions and working to protect our liberties. It is an honor to be entrusted by you to be your voice in the state House.
Right off the bat, the call for tax increases is ringing loud and clear. Despite record tax collections, which have grown 17 percent ($4 billion) since the last biennium, there are those in state government who always want more. The governor used his State of the State address this week to outline his plan for more spending, increased taxes, and his desire to implement an aggressive environmental agenda. He wants $3.7 billion in tax increases and would spend about a billion dollars to save the orcas.
In a surprise political stunt, Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib boycotted the governor's speech because the House of Representatives still follows the state constitution and allows concealed carry of firearms in the galleries and on the House floor. In the Senate, where he presides, he has taken the unlawful step of banning concealed carry firearms. The next day, during the State of the Judiciary speech, which is in the Senate, Lt. Gov. Habib was back at the rostrum presiding. It's entirely possible, however, that legislators just feet away from Habib were indeed exercising their right to bear arms.
I am pleased to announce that my colleagues in the Legislature have asked me to take a leadership role by serving as the ranking member on the House Environment and Energy Committee. It will take some careful planning and bold maneuvering to keep Seattle environmental politics out of Washington state energy policies. As we witnessed in November, the voters of this state are not in favor of carbon taxes.
I am also on the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee and the House Transportation Committee. And, I am working on legislation to once-and-for-all provide car-tab relief, provide assistance to our veterans, and further protections of our Second Amendment rights. Stay tuned for more information throughout the legislative session!
And finally, just a reminder that the House of Representatives offers a fantastic opportunity for students through our House Page Program. I am able to sponsor a few pages each year. It is an excellent opportunity for young people to learn more about how their state government works, and to get paid in the process! Click here to learn more.
As always, please feel free to contact my office with any questions or concerns you may have with YOUR state government, or if you need assistance wading through the bureaucracy. I'm here to serve you.