Thank you for your support in our efforts to advance the cause of freedom in Washington and across our great nation. One by one, we are making progress in passing bills through the state Legislature that are a part of “The Freedom Agenda” – a movement supported by thousands of people like yourself to provide lower taxes, less government and more freedom.
It's not been easy. Opposition is strong by liberals in Olympia who want bigger government and more of your hard-earned money. Just today, they won a small battle against the taxpayers of Washington when the state Supreme Court struck down the requirement for a two-thirds vote in the Legislature to raise taxes. They might be celebrating today, but it is the VOTERS they will eventually have to answer to. And the voters have said FIVE TIMES through the initiative process they want a higher requirement to meet before the Legislature can raise taxes. Eventually, it will be the PEOPLE who claim victory – not those who yearn for larger government and more control over your lives.
I hope this e-mail update can encourage your involvement. Please contact my office if you have questions, comments, or suggestions. My phone number, e-mail address and other contact information is at the bottom of this newsletter.
State Supreme Court strikes down taxpayer protection initiative, but not the people's will to fight back!
In the Declaration of Independence, the founding fathers aired a lengthy list of grievances against the King of England, including: “For imposing taxes on us without our consent!” This is precisely the reason voters 20 years ago approved an initiative that required the Legislature to have at least two-thirds consent before raising taxes.
Prior to this requirement, a Democrat-controlled Legislature would wastefully spend tax dollars on such things as a gymnasium in a newly-built state agency headquarters, a fish tank that cost thousands of dollars in the Department of Natural Resources' lobby in Olympia (which was later dismantled), a puppet theatre, and the list goes on and on. And when the money was spent, these same lawmakers would say they didn't have enough money to provide for basic education, public safety and taking care of the needs of the elderly and the disabled. So they would raise taxes. Taxpayers, who were giving their last hard-earned dollars to state government, finally had enough and passed a citizens initiative that imposed a spending limit and a requirement of a two-thirds vote in the Legislature before taxes could be raised.
Voters not only approved the two-thirds requirement 20 years ago – they have passed it another FOUR times since. The latest was in November with Initiative 1185. It passed with 64 percent of the vote across the state and 74 percent in the 4th District. Click here to see the results.
Unfortunately, a coalition of Democrat lawmakers and education groups sued the state over the previous two-thirds measure – Initiative 1053. Why? Because they want to go back to those SPEND and TAX days of the past. They found a sympathetic judge in King County, who ruled against the initiative last spring. The measure was taken to the Washington State Supreme Court, which ruled today that the two-thirds majority requirement is unconstitutional. It means the Democrats can raise taxes with a simple majority!
Folks, this fight is not over. Our Freedom Agenda calls for “lower taxes, LIMITED government, and more freedom.” While the Democrats are no doubt preparing their lengthy list of tax bills, we have prepared legislation, House Joint Resolution 4206, that would enshrine the two-thirds requirement into the Washington State Constitution.
Thankfully, this year we have a Senate Majority Coalition, made up mostly of fiscal-conservative Republicans and Democrats, who can stop tax bills. However, it's time to place the two-thirds requirement into the state constitution so that the people retain their authority and consent when it comes to tax increases.
FREEDOM AGENDA MEASURE PASSES HOUSE – House Bill 1334
This week's featured Freedom Agenda bill is House Bill 1334, an act relating to conversion kits on motorcycles. Motorcycle stabilizing conversion kits allow disabled veterans and other riders requiring additional stability the opportunity to enjoy motorcycle riding and the freedom to do so. This bill would authorize the use of stabilizing conversion kits on motorcycles. The kits have been in production for at least 15 years. The measure passed the House unanimously on Monday, Feb. 25.
UP FOR A FLOOR VOTE NEXT WEEK – House Bills 1090 and 1093
Two of my prime-sponsored bills are awaiting action on the House floor next week. They include:
- House Bill 1090 – would clarify the law as to multiple fresh water dock construction within a five-year period.
- House Bill 1093 – would impose a penalty of $100 per statement on a state agency director who knowingly fails to file lobbyist disclosure statements. Would also establish penalties against any state agency official, officer, or employee who is responsible for or knowingly spends public funds in violation of lobbyist restrictions.
In each e-mail update throughout the session, I will be featuring a “Bad Bill.” Here's one of the worst!
House Bill 1494 would increase estate tax rates (the death tax) to provide additional funding for higher education. This is the worst kind of tax because its preys on mourning families who must pay the government for the death of their loved one.
Why should people work hard, sacrifice and use thrift to try to have a piece of the American Dream when in the end they can't pass it to their kids? Instead, the government is there to take it. That's wrong, and it is why I have co-sponsored House Bill 1099 (a great bill!) to eliminate the death tax entirely in Washington state.
The state constitution mandates that education should be funded by our first dollar (paramount duty), not the last one at the end of our life.