Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We're already half-way through the 2020 legislative session and we've just passed policy cut-off. That means both legislative branches will soon be debating hundreds of bills from now until session ends in March.
The House and Senate have introduced nearly 1,500 new bills this session, so there's no shortage of things to talk about. But I want to focus on two main issues in this update that would come at a great cost to you if they become law.
Road Usage Charge Legislation
First, is the road usage charge (RUC) that's being discussed. We're getting major attention on this issue and people are not happy about it. Washingtonians don't want their privacy invaded and you can trust that I'll continue to lead the fight against it. In fact, I recently introduced two bills and two constitutional amendments intended to stop this idea in its tracks.
House Bill 2854 would prohibit the tracking of the movement of individuals or vehicles for the purposes of determining taxes or fees to be assessed.
House Bill 2855 would limit the manner in which a road usage charge may be implemented.
House Joint Resolution 4213 would amend the state constitution so that road usage charges are limited in relation to how they may be implemented.
House Joint Resolution 4214 would amend the state constitution so that tracking individuals for the purpose of determining taxes or fees is prohibited.
Constituents in the 26th District, and from all over the state, have made it clear they don't want their privacy invaded with GPS tracking or by any other means. I'm listening. My legislation would remove these concerns by prohibiting any type of tracking technology being used for the basis of taxation.
I was recently a guest on the Jason Rantz Show, where I had the opportunity to discuss these bills and how they would help protect our privacy. You can listen to that interview by clicking on the image below.
I stand by my constituents and I keep my promises to you. I will continue to make sure your voice is heard. We must honor the will of the people and prohibit the government from tracking us when we drive.
Low-Carbon Fuel Standard
Speaking of listening to the will of the people, the second big issue I want to address is House Bill 1110, which the majority party already passed out of the House to the Senate.
This bill would create a low-carbon fuel standard by giving the state Department of Ecology the authority to create a clean fuels program to reduce the amount of carbon in fuels.
The bill would also wipe out the consumer protection provision in the 2015 Connecting Washington transportation plan. That provision stated that if a low-carbon fuel standard is adopted, money would shift from other transportation accounts into the motor vehicle account.
Here is another instance of the majority party ignoring the will of the people and breaking their word to Washington voters by striking these taxpayer protection provisions.
Despite bipartisan opposition and overwhelming evidence this bill will hurt Washington families, especially low-income, working-class families, the majority party still pushed it through.
The simple truth is this bill would punish the poor, not help them. If it passes the Senate and the governor signs it, HB 1110 will slow job growth, not grow it, and it will redistribute wealth to the corporate elite, not the low-income. Those who favor the bill argue it would help the poor and working class. But how?
The reality is, this bill doesn't allow people to work their way out of poverty and dependency, and into a stable situation in the solid middle class. I don't think that's the right way for Washington to go.
If proponents care so much about helping low-income families, then why is this bill filled with so many carve-outs for the corporate elite? If this bill is about helping the poor and creating jobs, why are its sponsors talking about a carbon-equivalency scheme that allows you to buy credits? If you're buying credits, then how are you helping reduce pollution? How are you helping the environment?
I can say with complete confidence that not a single elected official in this state ran on a ticket that said: “We want to run bills that hurt working-class families, like single moms, that are just trying to make ends meet so they can feed their kids.” Or that said, “We want to run a bill that hurts fixed-income families that are just trying to put enough gas in the tank so they can make it to the store and back and still balance their budget at the end of the month.”
Not a single person said, “We want to run a bill that's going to hurt those areas, but then carve out massive corporate subsidies and create a scheme that helps the corporate elite.”
This bill is just another gas tax disguised as a plea to help the environment. It will hurt many more families than it will help. Let's hope the Senate respects the will of the people and stops House Bill 1110 in its tracks.
Town Hall Weekend
I also want to let you know about the upcoming town hall meetings I'll be holding in several locations throughout the 26th District.
Friday, Feb 21, 2020
City of Port Orchard
216 Prospect St.
Port Orchard, WA 98366
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Saturday Feb. 22, 2020
Gig Harbor Civic Center
3510 Grandview St.
Gig Harbor, WA 98335
9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
612 5th Street
Bremerton, WA 98337
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Key Pen Fire House, #46
8911 Key Peninsula Hwy NW
Lakebay, WA 98349
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
There is so much going on in Olympia, so come out and let your voice be heard!
Stay in Touch with Olympia
If you want to stay up to date with what's happening during session, check out these helpful links:
- RepresentativeJesseYoung.com: Get regular email updates on what I'm doing in the Legislature, including news releases, email updates, and bills I have sponsored.
- The Ledger: A daily informative and comprehensive news aggregator from the House Republican Caucus.
- Capitol Buzz: A daily electronic clip service offers headlines and stories from media outlets throughout the state, including newspaper, radio, television. Subscribe for free.
- TVW: Tune into TVW, Washington's own version of C-SPAN. You can catch floor and committee action live.
- Legislature website: Track legislation, get bill reports, view committee agendas and information about upcoming activities in the Legislature.
Please Contact Me
We still have several weeks to go in this session, with many important issues to tackle. Please continue to reach out to me to offer your input. I want to hear from you because I'm here to represent you. Please contact my office at (360) 786-7964 or email me at Jesse.Young@leg.wa.gov.
In strength and honor,