Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Unfortunately, the majority has spent the first four weeks of this year's 60-day legislative session passing bills that would hit Washington families and businesses hard.
Last week, they brought a bill to the floor (House Bill 1110) that would impose a low-carbon fuel standard mandate on fuel suppliers. The mandate would significantly increase suppliers' costs, but it's you and I who would ultimately pay the bill. After all, when the government imposes mandates on businesses that increase their costs and make it harder for them to survive, those costs are always passed down to the consumer. If HB 1110 becomes law, gas prices would increase, as would grocery prices. Material and transportation costs would also rise, resulting in a slowdown in a variety of industries. In exchange for all of this, we might potentially reduce the carbon in our atmosphere by a fraction of a percent every year. That's a trade-off that simply doesn't make sense.
This week, the majority brought a bill to the floor to “fix” the B&O tax increase they passed on 85,000 businesses last session. Since the new tax didn't bring in quite as much revenue as expected, they're looking to expand it to 4,400 more businesses. When ESSB 6492 came to the floor Thursday, I delivered the following remarks:
Working to provide greater access to career and technical education
For the second time in as many years, the House has approved a bill I've sponsored to provide students greater access to career and technical education (CTE). Under House Bill 1304, the Vocational Alternative Learning Experience Pilot Program would be established. I believe the program would showcase the value of providing state funding for the expansion of CTE instruction in alternative learning experience schools. Currently, the law prohibits these schools from receiving enhanced funding for CTE courses.
I sponsored this bill because students who choose to pursue a non-traditional educational path deserve the state's full backing. I'm encouraged by the 95-1 vote the bill received in the House, and am working hard to make sure it advances out of the Senate and gets to the governor's desk this year.
Sponsoring 15-year-old student Imara Bhanji as a House page
This week, I had the opportunity to sponsor 15-year-old student Imara Bhanji as a page here in the state House. Imara attends Washington Virtual Academy, and her interests include golf (one of my interests as well), programming, art, and piano. During her week at the Capitol, she attended page school every day and carried out a number of critical duties that helped keep things running efficiently. Thank you, Imara!
Please continue contacting me with your comments, questions and concerns. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, and my phone number is (360) 786-7902.
It is an honor to serve you.