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Dear Friends,


For weeks, I have been warning you about the pro-tax agenda of the left in Olympia. They want to take more of your money in the form of higher taxes to grow government and make it powerful enough to usurp your freedom. This is everything we are fighting against in the Freedom Agenda.

Now, those warnings are coming true. Last week, Gov. Jay Inslee unveiled his “Working Washington” budget, which would have you working as a slave to government to pay the 12 tax increases he is proposing – that’s more than $1.2 billion in newer and higher taxes.

But friends, we’re going to stand together to fight this “Dirty Dozen” list of tax increases. Washington has an extra $2 billion of your tax dollars coming in to the state in the next budget cycle – and that’s without tax increases. I urge you to call the governor’s office at (360) 902-4111 and tell Gov. Inslee to drop his tax increase proposal. While you’re at it, call Rep. Ross Hunter, Democrat chair of the House Appropriations Committee, and ask him to refrain from tax increases as he writes the House Democrat budget.

Our economy is too fragile to sustain any tax increases. This will kill jobs and send more people to Idaho.

Let’s remind these Democrats what their leader said four years ago: “The last thing we want to do is to raise taxes in the middle of a recession because that would just suck up, take more demand out of the economy and put businesses in a further hole.” President Barack Obama, Aug. 5, 2009.

Let’s also remember what President Ronald Reagan said about stimulating the economy:  “Governments don’t reduce deficits by raising taxes on the people. Governments reduce deficits by controlling spending and stimulating new wealth, wealth from investments of brave people with hope for the future, trust in their fellow man, and faith in God.”  May 14, 1983

Please join with me to ensure lower taxes, less government and more freedom! 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.


Freedom Agenda – The newest measure: House Bill 2020

Creating jobs, unleashing the state’s entrepreneurial spirit, putting government back into its constitutional box, and expanding opportunity for all is an important part of The Freedom Agenda. That’s why I have introduced House Bill 2020 – a measure that would expand economic development and create jobs by increasing the availability of ammunition and firearm parts and accessories in Washington state. Even the bill number – 20-20 – is a sign this shows clarity toward getting Washington working again.

Magpul, a manufacturer of guns and ammunition in Colorado, has more than 1,200 employees. It is considering relocating because of new arms restrictions in Colorado, and I want them to seriously consider Washington state as the place to set up shop. There is a massive demand for ammunition. Let’s have them produce ammunition in Washington state. The economic impact could be in the billions of dollars.

This bill would create a favorable tax rate to incentivize gun and ammunition manufacturers to locate in Washington state and bring jobs with them.

ACTION ITEM – Take action now!

For the remainder of the legislative session, my weekly e-newsletter will contain an “action item.” What that means is that it is an opportunity for you to take action by providing your input on a bill.

This week’s action item is:SheaKristiansen

House Bill 1888Legalizing industrial hemp – would authorize the Department of Agriculture to issue licenses for the growing of industrial hemp; Rep. Matt Shea, prime sponsor.

Impact: PRO – This measure would have a massive positive impact on our state’s economy and the state budget, creating an entirely new industry in Washington and new jobs.

Status: A public hearing is scheduled for April 4 at 1:30 p.m. in the Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government, House Hearing Room D, John L. O’Brien Building, Olympia.

Action needed:

  • Come to the public hearing and testify on the bill.
  • Call the toll-free legislative hotline: 1-800-562-6000 and leave a message for Rep. Zack Hudgins, chair of the committee, asking him to allow the measure to have a vote.
  • Go here and comment on the bill.
  • Call my office for more information: (360) 786-7984

Please take action now!


This week’s ‘Bad Bill’ – ‘Title-Only Bills’


In each e-mail update throughout the session, I have been featuring a “Bad Bill.”  This week’s bad bill is a series of bills with the same characteristic. They have a title, but they are blank pieces of legislation.

bad-billTitle-only bills prevent the public from knowing what will be included in the legislation. That not only goes against government transparency, these bills are also used by lawmakers to circumvent the state Constitution.

According to Article 2, Section 36 of the state Constitution:

“No bill shall be considered in either house unless the time of its introduction shall have been at least ten days before the final adjournment of the legislature, unless the Legislature shall otherwise direct by a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, said vote to be taken by yeas and nays and entered upon the journal, or unless the same be at a special session.”

To get around this constitutional restriction on new bills being introduced in the last ten days of session, lawmakers use title-only bills as a placeholder to place the real text of legislation in at a later time without having to secure the two-thirds vote required if the bill was dropped after the cutoff period. Budget chairs typically introduce title-only bills so they “don’t get stuck” at the end of session. Click here to see an example of a title-only bill.

Numerous title-only bills were recently introduced in the House and Senate. Their titles include:

  • Relating to revenue
  • Relating to education
  • Relating to natural resources
  • Relating to health care
  • Relating to human services
  • Relating to state government

Washington is one of the few states in the nation that engage in this non-transparent form of bill making, says Bruce Feustel of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

“Most states I am familiar with do not allow title-only bills for legislative consideration, generally under the reasoning that you need to know the details of a bill to make an informed decision about how to vote on it and even where to refer it,” said Feustel.

State government belongs to the people it serves. The people have a right to know what legislation is being proposed, how it would affect them, and they should be given every opportunity to respond. Title-only bills thwart the process of open and honest government. This is bad policy. These are BAD bills!

(Thanks to the Washington Policy Center for information on title-only bills.)



Matt Shea

State Representative Matt Shea, 4th Legislative District
427A Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7984 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000