Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Breaking News – Judge Puts I-976 On Hold
The latest political shoe has dropped and despite voters' wishes, the fate of the $30 car-tab initiative is now up in the air. King County Superior Court Judge, Marshall Ferguson, ruled today to put a temporary stop on I-976 while the lawsuits brought against the measure go through the courts.
Car Tab Update
So, here's a recap:
A. A Seattle judge has blocked I-976 that was:
1st, approved by the Attorney General as valid
2nd, approved by the Secretary of State as valid
3rd, passed by a constitutional majority of voters
B. The Governor has already used I-976's passage to unconstitutionally block mostly non-King County transportation projects already legally passed by the Legislature.
C. Remember, 92% of our state's transportation maintenance & infrastructure funding was unaffected by I-976.
This is bad governance plain and simple.
We'll be watching very closely as this issue moves through the courts. But even if I-976 prevails, Republican state lawmakers will likely be facing new tax proposals by the majority party to recoup the money they claim would be lost if I-976 does become law. But these new proposals would only burden families more.
As a reminder, the 2019-21 House transportation budget was the only fiscally responsible budget that passed this year. Serving in leadership on the House Transportation Committee, I worked hard to make that happen for you. Our budget has successfully funded critical infrastructure needs and brought millions of dollars back into the 26th District. And we did it without raising your taxes!
The car-tab issue isn't the only transportation topic I'm watching closely. Since 2015, I've fought every year to beat back the proposals to add GPS trackers to our cars as a means of taxing you for where and how far you drive. This is a major privacy concern and we need to be clear: government has NO business tracking where you drive! With the governor's penalizing freeze on future (mostly non-King County) projects, there's now a renewed call in Olympia to implement a Road Usage Charge – or pay-per-mile tax. We must make sure this doesn't happen.
Transparency – Ghost Bills: Medicare, Medicaid, and Low-Income Housing Funding
Another major issue we'll be fighting for in the upcoming session is to make title-only bills, or “ghost bills,” illegal. These are dangerous bills that can lead to numerous problems for the good people of Washington.
Earlier this year, in the final hours of the 2019 legislative session, the majority party passed multiple title-only bills intended to increase taxes by about $2.1 billion. Essentially, the majority bypassed the state constitution and completely cut the public out of the process. And you don't have to take my word for it. Just click here to read what The Seattle Times had to say about title-only bills.
One bill (House Bill 2158) was so confusing that one member of the media couldn't explain it. In fact, when I asked Rowland Thompson of the Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington about the bill during a hearing in the House Finance Committee, last session, he was at loss for words. Click on the image below to see his comments.
This is a confusing, unfair, and dangerous practice. It's also hitting those families and individuals that are already hurting the most: people on Medicare, Medicaid, and those receiving low-income housing funding. House Bill 2158 is hurting many families in the state, especially fixed income and low-income people.
This is an anti-transparency practice that must be stopped. That's why I'm co-sponsoring the legislation to end this practice. This will be a major push in the House Republican Caucus this year.
As the 2020 legislative session approaches, we're preparing to fight for numerous important issues that matter to you, the people of the 26th Legislative District. As my top priority, I'll continue to push for fiscal responsibility and work to hold the majority party in the House accountable for their actions. At a time when household budgets are tightening, but our economy is still growing, we can't afford to allow new and unnecessary tax measures slow us down. As your elected representative, I'll fight to have your voice heard when session begins on January 13.
I Want to Hear From You
Finally, I want to tell you again what an honor and privilege it is to serve you in the 26th District. I know how much you love our great state, and I understand the causes that matter to you. That's why I promise to do everything in my power to make your voice heard during the 2020 legislative session.
This will be my last email update until session begins. But you can still reach out to me any time. Feel free to contact me via phone or email. I would love to speak with you.
In strength and honor,