With a new year comes a new legislative session. I'm privileged to be serving you, but I am disappointed in the direction our governor and majority party hope to take our state this year. Like last year, they've expressed their intentions to prioritize the needs of Seattle and force urban policies on the rest of Washington state. These include $1.5 billion in new taxes, fiscally irresponsible spending, more regulations on small businesses, policies that hurt working families, and little urgency for fixing Hirst to allow rural property owners to access water.
Here's what they hope to implement and what I promise to stand against.
Taxes, jobs and the economy
The governor has made it clear he wants $1.5 billion in carbon taxes. In short, that will translate into an additional 20 cent tax per gallon of gas. This is clearly coming from someone who doesn't understand that for us, driving is not a luxury. In southwest Washington, working families rely on their cars to commute to and from — as well as to perform — work each day.
The majority party has also introduced a bill to apply Seattle's new soda tax to all of Washington state. Meanwhile, the governor continues to block tax incentives for manufacturers — incentives that would provide jobs and improve rural economies.
These attempts to raise taxes while simultaneously blocking policies that would create jobs are bad for all working families in Washington. As the economy grows in some areas of Washington, companies in the 20th District are leaving and job opportunities are dwindling. Now more than ever we need smarter spending and tax incentives, not tax increases.
As I have said before, we do not have a revenue problem; we have a spending problem. Over the next 60 days, I'll continue advocating for fiscal responsibility and policies to grow jobs and the economy in southwest Washington.
Hirst and the capital budget
While development and economic growth in rural Washington has slowed due to the Hirst decision, Seattle continues to grow with unhindered access to water. In fact, Seattle is projected to continue adding 12,000 condos per year.
Approving the capital budget and allowing the government to move forward with construction projects while private property owners in rural areas are prevented from building would be an unacceptable double standard.
We need a capital budget, but we also need a permanent solution to Hirst. I'll continue to advocate for the adoption of both a Hirst fix and a capital budget.
I'm privileged and honored to serve as your voice in Olympia. You may contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (360)786-7990. I look forward to hearing from you over the next 60 days.