This has been a sad week for taxpayers in Washington. Despite our best efforts to fight to protect the will of the people, this past Wednesday, the governor signed Senate Bill 6130 into law. This suspends the Taxpayer Protection Act of 2007 (I-960). With the will of the voters shoved aside, Democrats are now free to raise your taxes. . .and they have wasted no time!
TAX INCREASE BILLS FLOOD THE LEGISLATURE
Majority Democrats have introduced more than 77 tax and fee bills that, if combined, would increase taxes and fees by $11.46 billion in the $30.5 billion operating budget during 2011-13. Many of these are aimed at agriculture and small business, including aviation. Click here to download a list of proposed tax and fee bills.
BREAKDOWN OF DEMOCRAT TAX PROPOSALS:
- Repealing a B&O tax credit on syrup
- Adding to the taxes you pay on fuel at the pump
- A new 1-cent-per-ounce tax on bottled water
- A new tax on carbonated beverages (5 cents per 12 ounces)
- Imposing the sales tax on (non-floured) candy and gum
- Increasing taxes for livestock nutrient management (livestock manure clean-up)
- Limit or repeal tax incentives (Senate Bill 6873): $518 million
- 0.3 percent sales tax increase: $313 million
I'm very concerned about the impact of taxes on the citizens of our district. These taxes could send many of our border businesses packing up and moving to Idaho.
TELEPHONE TOWN HALL PROVIDES GREAT CALLS, INPUT
I want to thank all of you who participated in the telephone town hall meeting that Rep. Larry Crouse and I held this past Tuesday. We had 4,265 people who came on the line, and 441 stayed with us for part or most of the hour. It was great to talk with citizens back home and to hear those concerns on your minds.
Many people are justifiably upset that the governor and Democrats have ignored their wishes, by overturning Initiative 960. We held a survey during our telephone town hall meeting and out of 208 people voting, 86 percent said they are against the bill that suspends I-960.
You can see the poll results in the graphic to the left.
When Rep. Crouse and I return to the district, we're considering holding a traditional town hall meeting. I also hope to do the telephone town hall again in May.
SENATE COMMITTEE PASSES BILL RESTRICTING FORENSIC PATIENT OUTINGS
The Senate Human Services and Corrections Committee on Friday approved a bill I introduced that would restrict outings of forensic patients who are committed to a state facility.
Forensic patients are those who overlap the criminal justice and mental health systems, such as criminally insane killer Phillip Paul who walked away from an Eastern State Hospital field trip during family day last year at the Spokane County Fair.
Under House Bill 2717, outings would be restricted except for court order outings, necessary medical and legal proceedings, visits to a member of the person's immediate family who is seriously ill, or for attendance at the funeral of a person's immediate family member. No leave would be permitted without an escort in constant visual or auditory contact. The bill also requires notice be provided to law enforcement in the area of the outing.
SOVEREIGNTY BILL BECOMES LAW IN UTAH
While out-of-touch majority Democrats in Washington state continue to block 10th Amendment sovereignty bills, other states are moving forward with their own legislation. On Friday, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed into law the “Utah State-Made Firearms Protection Act.” The measure is nearly identical to House Bill 2709, the Washington State Firearms Freedom Act, that I prime-sponsored here in our state.
In signing the Utah bill, Herbert said, “There are times when the state needs to push back against continued encroachment from the federal government. Sending the message that we will stand up for a proper balance between the state and federal government is a good thing.”
The intent this legislation is to challenge the U.S. Supreme Court's expansive interpretation of the federal Interstate Commerce Clause and the apparent incompatibility of this interpretation with the right to bear arms as protected by the 2nd Amendment. It's my hope that more states will join the battle to put the federal govern
ment back into its constitutionally-designed box.
THE CLOCK IS TICKING!
Less than two weeks remain of the 2010 legislative session, which is scheduled to adjourn March 11. As always, if you have questions, comments, concerns or ideas, please contact my office in Olympia at (360) 786-7984.
Thank you for the honor of allowing me to serve and represent you!