The success of The Freedom Agenda continues. Here's our scorecard:
- 80 bills
- 65 hearings
- 12 have passed the House and are advancing in the Senate
This success is due to the dedication of many freedom-loving people who believe in and defend a God-honoring constitution that limits government power and reasserts that government is our servant, not our master, and will not compromise on principals of liberty. As you read on, you will see additional legislation I have sponsored that reasserts our rights as citizens of Washington state against an oppressive federal government.
More information on the budget and the many successes our Freedom Agenda team has achieved this session can also be found in my report below.
Please keep your calls, letters and emails coming! Together, we will ensure a society of lower taxes, less government and more freedom! Contact my office any time you have questions, comments or suggestions about legislation and how you can help to further the cause of liberty.
House Democrat operating budget proposal – New and higher taxes
With less than 30 days before the end of the 105-day session, House Democrats released their operating budget proposal on Friday. It is just as we suspected — filled with new and increased taxes.
They want to add a 5 percent capital gains income tax on nearly 32,000 Washington residents. That's more than the populations of Greenacres, Liberty Lake, Mead and Millwood combined. They want a 20 percent business and occupation tax increase on service businesses, which would hurt Main Street Mom and Pop businesses. They want to eliminate the border-county sales tax exemptions for next-state residents who shop in Washington, keeping Idaho and Oregon shoppers at home. Plus, they want to eliminate other job-creating tax incentives.
Washington is already getting a pay increase of 9 percent — nearly $3 billion over the previous budget cycle — and that's without tax increases. But that's not enough for Democrats. House Democrats are proposing $1.5 billion in new and higher taxes to grow government. That's a 15.4 percent increase in spending.
Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee took testimony on the budget spending plan. You can view the House Democrat budget plan here. It is contained within House Bill 1106. This morning, the House Finance Committee held a public hearing on House Bill 2224, the tax increase proposal. We expect these proposals will be brought to the House floor later this week.
As you can expect, my Freedom Agenda colleagues and I will be vigorously fighting against these new tax increases and against Democrats' intent to grow state government.
ACTION BILLS – Freedom Agenda bills in Senate need action!
Tomorrow is the final day for policy bills to pass out of their respective committees in the opposite chamber from where they were introduced. I have four bills that have had public hearings in the Senate Law and Justice Committee. They need to pass out of that committee by 5 p.m. tomorrow to remain alive for the session. I need your help. Please call Sen. Mike Padden, chairman of the Senate Law and Justice Committee at (360) 786-7606, and ask him to bring the following bills up for a vote in the committee:
- House Bill 1248 would increase jurisdictional limits to $100,000 for district courts and allow for mandatory arbitration, which would save money, lead to a more efficient court system, and promote access to justice.
- House Bill 1639 would create new guidelines for when a state or local agency can use extraordinary sensing devices (ESD) or “drones,” and what they can do with the personal information gathered. Read more details about this bill here.
- House Bill 1817 would provide liability immunity for local jurisdictions when wheeled all-terrain vehicles are operated on public roadways.
- House Bill 1943 would set stricter standards on electronic home monitoring. Read more details about this bill here.
BAD BILL – TAX INCREASE LEGISLATION – House Bill 2224
Of all the bad bills during the 2015 session, this one is the ultimate worst of the worst! This is the one that would have government dig deep into your bank accounts, wallets and purses to take more of your money – $1.5 BILLION more.
This bill would enact a 5 percent capital gains income tax. It would target about 32,000 people, which would discourage investment and job creation. Even worse, once government has its foot in the door, it won't be long until this tax is expanded against the incomes of most Washington citizens.
Here's the remaining list of tax increases:
CALL THE MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE! TELL THEM NO NEW TAXES! Go here for their phone numbers.
Shea legislation reasserts state sovereignty under 10th Amendment
I have introduced a package of “10th Amendment” bills which essentially tells the federal government to back off and quit meddling in the states' business. The 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution declares: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Through this legislation, I intend to serve notice to the federal government to immediately cease and desist any and all mandates that are beyond the scope of its constitutionally-delegated powers. The following bills seek to reassert state sovereignty and erect barriers against federal encroachment:
- House Bill 2197 – Constitutional Currency Restoration Act – Would recognize gold and silver as legal tender.
- House Bill 2198 – Washington State Health Care Freedom Act – Would prohibit mandatory participation in any health care system and allow a person or employer to pay directly for health care services.
- House Bill 2199 – Washington State Preservation of Liberty Act – Would condemn unlawful detention of U.S. citizens and lawful resident aliens under the National Defense Authorization Act.
- House Bill 2200 – Would address the offense of official oppression by public servants.
- House Bill 2202 – Would allow the lawful possession of firearms during an emergency.
- House Bill 2203 – Would establish oversight of county and municipal law enforcement agencies that acquire surplus equipment through the federal government's 1033 program, such as mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles (MRAPs).
- House Bill 2204 – Defend the Guard Act – Would prohibit the Washington State National Guard from being deployed into active duty combat unless the U.S. Congress has passed a declaration of war or has taken official action to call for the state militia's assistance for defense.