Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It's been extremely busy under the dome here in Olympia. We're officially halfway through this 60-day session, and have reached our first major deadlines – policy and fiscal cutoff. We've already spent long hours on the House floor voting on bad tax policy that ultimately will raise your taxes yet again.
For an update on what's been happening under the dome, please watch my latest edition of the Barkis Breakdown by clicking on the photo below.
Tilting the housing scales toward affordability
In my last update, I premiered the housing policy I've been working on since I first joined the Legislature in 2016. It's time to get Washington state building again by moving from ideas into implementation. Several of my common-sense solutions are moving through the legislative process, and I hope to see them come to the House floor for votes in the coming days. I'll keep you posted.
To learn more about these bills, please click here for a short video.
Fighting against the continued efforts to raise your taxes
It's very telling that the first two major policy debates and bills passed by the majority party this session were tax increases.
First, we voted against the low-carbon fuel standard which would do little to help our environment or provide funding for our transportation system, but would continue to raise the price of gasoline and diesel and the price of goods and services. You can find additional resources on this regressive, costly fuel mandate by clicking here. The bill passed the House chambers by a vote of 52-44. It now moves to the Senate for further consideration.
The second bill we voted against was a B&O tax increase. This tax increase will make life more unaffordable for most Washington families and businesses. It will make health care and home construction more expensive, compounding one of the largest problems facing our state, homelessness.
This is another example of our unaccountable government. This B&O tax is a bill that was rushed through the process in order to fix a problem created by a bill rushed through the process, and signed into law, last year.
Senate Bill 6492 passed the House chambers by a vote of 52-45. There were five Democrats who voted against this bad policy. Gov. Inslee signed this tax increase into law on Feb. 10.
Look for more updates as we continue to push through this 60-day session. Feel free to reach out to my office with any questions, concerns or thoughts.
I will continue to fight against policies that make your way of life more expensive.
It's an honor to serve you.