Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Despite the fact we have record revenues and a $3 billion surplus, House Democrats are still looking to raise taxes by $4.2 billion over the next four years. Their $52.6 billion operating budget proposal would also increase spending by $8.5 billion from current levels. In my latest video update, I provided my candid thoughts on their proposal:
Keep in mind that if the House Democrats' operating budget proposal becomes law, state spending will have increased 70% since 2013. That's astounding.
I'm truly concerned about what passing this tax-and-spend budget could mean for our state, especially at a time when many economists are predicting we'll see a recession at some point in the next few years. If that happens, and we've spent every dime you've provided us, we're going to be in a very tough spot.
When the operating budget came to the floor for a vote late last month, House Republicans stood up for the taxpayers of Washington state. Below is a mashup of highlights from several of our members' floor speeches:
An update on my bills
As I mentioned in my last update, seven of my bills advanced out of the House and are still making their way through the legislative process.
- House Bill 1089 would delink standardized tests from high school graduation requirements, beginning retroactively with the graduating class of 2015. I'm working hard to make sure this bill gains traction in the Senate, but it hasn't moved as of yet. It's sitting in the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee.
- House Bill 1146 would extend the state's Christmas tree grower licensure program. It was approved in the Senate Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources and Parks Committee last week, and is now in the Senate Rules Committee.
- House Bill 1304 would establish the Vocational Alternative Learning Experience Pilot Program. This bill did gain traction in the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee, and has since been sent to the Senate Ways and Means Committee.
- House Bills 1430, 1557 and 1676 are designed to transform the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board into a more business-friendly agency that's focused on excellent customer service. HBs 1430 and 1557 have advanced out of their respective Senate committees, but HB 1676 is still awaiting a vote.
- House Bill 2040 would provide financial relief to non-high school districts by changing the calculation of how much they're required to reimburse neighboring high school districts for educating their students. This bill was also approved by the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee, and is now in the Senate Rules Committee.
Some thoughts on the governor's presidential bid
Last week, I sat down with KOMO's Keith Eldridge for an interview on Gov. Inslee's presidential bid and why I believe he should be here in Olympia as the Legislature considers a number of important issues. Take a look:
Shrimp season in Hood Canal starts next month
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has posted the dates for shrimping in Hood Canal, so I wanted to pass those along to you.
Hood Canal will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 11, 15, 29, and June 1.
Via the WDFW website, please keep the following rules in mind:
- Each harvester must have a separate container for their catch, either in their possession or identified with their name.
- No minimum carapace size.
- Maximum of two shrimp pots per person and no more than four shrimp pots per boat.
In the interest of full transparency, I will continue providing you with a list of my weekly meetings during session. Weeks 1-6 are available in previous email updates.
Please feel free to call or email me any time. My number is (360) 786-7902, and my email address is Drew.MacEwen@leg.wa.gov.
It is an honor to serve you.