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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

In a historic moment on Monday, lawmakers in Olympia passed three initiatives into law. I voted in favor of all three as they address important issues in Washington state.

The three initiatives passed by the Legislature:

  • I-2113 would restore police authority to pursue fleeing suspects. Since 2021, when Democrats passed HB 1054, crime has skyrocketed, and law enforcement has felt abandoned. This misguided policy has directly contributed to our state’s public safety crisis. This initiative would allow our police officers to once again enforce the laws necessary to address our rising crime rates.  It passed the House by a vote of 77-20 and the Senate 36-13. Click the photo below to watch my floor speech on I-2113.
  • I-2081 would establish parental rights in K-12 education. The Parents’ Bill of Rights established would increase transparency and ensure public schools must share with parents any records relating to their child as well as instructional materials used in the classroom. It passed the Senate 38-11, and the House 82-15.
  • I-2111 would prohibit further efforts to impose an income tax. With our state’s affordability crisis, this would protect people from any future plans for the majority party to impose personal income taxes at any level. It passed the Senate 49-0 and the House 76-21.

Since Washington adopted the initiative and referendum process in 1912, citizens have attempted 1,728 initiatives to the Legislature, with only 38 getting certified and sent to the Legislature. And only six times has the Legislature adopted an initiative.

For us to get three of six initiatives passed this session is a great win for the citizens of Washington.

However, it is also disappointing that the majority declined to take action on the other three initiatives. The other three initiatives will be on the November ballot.

  • I-2117 would repeal the Climate Commitment Act (CCA) and its cap-and-trade program. This regressive policy has come at a great cost to struggling families and individuals.
  • I-2109 would repeal the income tax on capital gains. This is a step toward a state income tax. Our state has plenty of revenue (our state budget has doubled in the last decade). This tax is unnecessary, unpopular, and unstable.
  • I-2124 would allow Washington workers to opt out of a mandatory and deeply flawed long-term care insurance program and the payroll tax that goes with it. This tax is unfair as someone paying into the system for their entire career may never need the benefit. It is also inadequate. The $36,500 benefit will not go far to cover long-term care needs.

I am especially disappointed that I-2117 was ignored. The majority party continues to pass legislation related to their climate change or cap-and-trade program that will drive costs up on fuel, energy and other goods and services for working families. One of those bills is Senate Bill 6058. It would make changes to the CCA so the state’s program would be more compatible with California and Quebec’s linked cap-and-invest carbon market. The bill intends to facilitate negotiating a “linkage agreement” between the three markets. Click the image below to watch my floor speech opposing SB 6058.

I encourage you to do your homework on the ones that will be before you in November. Scare tactics are being used in Olympia associated with I-2117. False information is being circulated that if the CCA fails, transportation dollars will go away and projects will be halted. That is inaccurate. CCA funds do not go toward roads, bridges, and ferries. Taxpayers are already paying for these projects through the state’s gas tax.

Final days

Over the final few days of the session, we will pass the three budgets – operating, transportation and capital – and work out the differences in bills that the House and Senate disagreed on. I will provide another update in the near future with a final wrap up on the session.

Please keep in mind I am your state representative year-round. Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or need assistance with a state government issue. I look forward to seeing you this interim.

It is an honor to serve the great 15th District!


Bryan Sandlin

State Representative Bryan Sandlin, 15th Legislative District
representativebryansandlin.com
405 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
bryan.sandlin@leg.wa.gov
(360) 786-7874 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000