February 2020 Chairman's Corner Newsletter

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The WA State Democrats are continuing on with their radical socialist agenda, here are some of their latest proposed laws coming out of Olympia.

HB 1110 is controversial gas tax legislation that could raise gas prices by 57 cents per gallon over the next 10 years.  This is part of the Democrat plan to eliminate all fossil fuels by 2045.  The law would create a low-carbon fuel standard mandate in Washington state with severe negative collateral impacts to our economy.  According to a recent Puget Sound Regional Transportation Fuels Analysis, the new Democrat Tax program could: Raise the cost of gas by up to 57 cents per gallon by 2030; Raise the cost of diesel by up to 63 cents per gallon by 2030; Result in job losses; and Reduce Gross Regional Product. 

The new tax will hurt families and businesses across the state by increasing the cost of transportation and goods and services, while doing very little for the environment and air quality.  In fact, government research shows (see p4) it's the least effective program to reduce carbon in the atmosphere.  It is important to remember that in 2018 I-1631 (a low-carbon fuel standard program to charge a fee on carbon emissions from fossil fuels) was overwhelmingly rejected by WA state voters.  The voters have spoken year after year, no more needless taxes!  Link to House floor debate on this issue.

 

HB 2913 is another Democrat tax that would raise your gasoline taxes by 10 cents per gallon over the next 10 years.  This is more terrible policy as these new taxes are totally unconscionable and make no sense given our states record tax revenues and surpluses.  Thanks to the Democrats in 2019 our taxes were raised 27 billion dollars and now in 2020 they may shatter last years record!  

 

Senate Bill 5130 will increase WA State real estate excise taxes (ranging from .75 % to 2 %) on every real estate sale transaction, with the money purporting to go to fish barrier removal.  The Democrat bill writers maintain that this law would help save the salmon, which in turn helps save the orcas.  However according to the contents of the bill this is how the money would be spent: 

2 % to go to a public works assistance account

4.1 % to go to an education legacy trust account

1.6 % to go to a city-county assistance account

16.7 % to go to the motor vehicle fund

75.4 % to go to the general fund (where it can be spent on whatever the Legislature wants).

OF NOTE:  There is pure corruption; nothing about funding the removal of salmon barriers is in the proposed verbiage of the legislation, it is only implied in the title description of the bill.

February 2020 Chairman's Corner Newsletter

 

House Bill 2549 suggests that there should be a fourth branch of government.  Yes, this bill actually says that “salmon retain an importance akin to being a fourth branch of government.” Here is proposed verbiage:

IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON: 8 NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. (1) The legislature finds that: (a) Salmon and other anadromous fish have a special historical, economic, and cultural importance to Washington; (b) As a consequence of their centrality to treaty-protected rights reserved to Indian tribes, and the efforts required to be undertaken in order to preserve those rights and recover threatened species, salmon retain an importance akin to being a fourth branch of government alongside the legislature, the judiciary, and the executive;(c) By including salmon in front-end planning undertaken under the growth management act, local governments will avoid or reduce risks that litigation against them will arise related to violations of co-manager relationships; and H-3786. 2. HB 2549 1 (d) Ensuring that future development and growth is compatible with the survival and recovery of anadromous fish species is essential to Washington's continued vibrancy and quality of life.  Therefore, it is the intent of the legislature to initiate a conversation about how to best integrate salmon planning and growth planning, etc...

This is simply liberal insanity at its worst, with an agenda of more and more government control planning.  And shows what happens when Democrats have both the Senate and House majorities in Olympia.  There are few checks & balances and salmon are viewed as a branch of government, along with the Legislative, Judiciary and the Executive branches.

February 2020 Chairman's Corner Newsletter

House Bill 2184 seeks to implement Mandatory Sex Education beginning in kindergarten. The law would require "comprehensive" sexual health education with an affirmative consent curriculum in ALL WA STATE PUBLIC SCHOOLS by the 2022-23 school year in accordance with the recommendations of the Sexual Health Workgroup.  Last year public outrage and Republicans in the legislature stopped a similar measure, curriculum would have allowed graphic details to be shared with very young children about sex and discussions about gender identity, etc.

However at the end of the 2019 session state Democrats funded and helped organize a 16-member sexual health workgroup headed up by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), which met last summer and outlined plans to push for this new statewide mandated sex ed measure, HB 2184.  OF NOTE: IN 2019 DEMOCRAT LD 10 STATE HOUSE REP. DAVE PAUL VOTED FOR THE CURRENT STATE BUDGET THAT FUNDED THE SEXUAL HEALTH WORK GROUP.  DAVE PAUL IS VICE CHAIR OF THE HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEE THAT IS OVERSEEING HB 2184 PUBLIC HEARINGS,

The Democrat Senate companion bill for this is ESSB 5395, which if signed into law would mandate EVERY public school to offer "evidence-informed," "medically accurate," and "age-appropriate" sex education as an integral part of the curriculum for kindergarten through 12th grade by Sept 1, 2021. Government mandates of this nature are completely unacceptable!  This liberal indoctrination of young children is absolutely horrible legislation that endangers the future of our next generations! 

 

In December Governor Inslee and AG Ferguson announced proposals to ban "semi automatic" firearms and now the first stages of that ban have made it to the 2020 legislative session, to date there have been over 100 gun bills submitted to the legislature.  HB 2241 seeks to restrict the sale and possession of firearms by prohibiting  "assault weapons" which are really just semi-automatic firearms.  HB 2240 would ban "high capacity magazines;" that is a "clip" to a semi-automatic firearm that would hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.  There are also several other proposed gun control bills which makes the buying and selling of firearms and ammunition more expensive via new taxes and more difficult via more regulations.   

These proposed laws are in violation of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.  And the WA State Constitution Article 1 Sec 24, the right of the individual citizen in defense of himself or the state shall not be impaired.  And collectively, these laws would create more barriers for law-abiding citizens to exercise their Second Amendment right to purchase guns without actually making residents any safer.

February 2020 Chairman's Corner Newsletter

 

HB 2529 would end state elections in odd-numbered years; effectively 'banning' Initiatives, and Referendums during those years.   House Bill 2529 would permit elections in odd-numbered years in limited circumstances, such as special elections, including school levies or recall of a public official.  By 2026, ALL local elections would have to switch to even-numbered years, though special elections could continue in odd years.  This is very dangerous legislation that is for the purpose to suppress the vote of the people. The Democrats are saying getting rid of odd numbered year elections would increase voter turnout in the even years.  Do not believe this narrative as there is no proof to their claim,

This legislation would take away the citizen's or anyone's right to file an Initiative or a Referendum in odd numbered years.  This law is totally unconstitutional, would eviscerate the state constitution, erode our freedoms, and silence the voice of the citizen by taking away the legal right to petition and resist any unwanted or unfair legislation.  If passed the new law would only allow citizen Initiatives and Referendums to be filed in even number years, E.g. Referendum 88 (reversing I-1000 affirmative action), Initiative 976 (lowering car tab taxes) would not have been allowed in 2019 if this were in effect.
 

HB 1775 and SB 5744 Universal Visitations, would mandate that government state sanctioned officials visit the home of every newborn baby in our state.  Yes, every new mother and father would be required under law to have to allow state inspectors into their homes upon the birth of a baby.  This law would have the WA State Division of Child and family Youth Services (DCYF) to set up a new government agency program where uninvited state workers would come into your home to make sure the brand-new baby is being properly cared for.  This is not just a government overreach, it is beyond intrusive and is trespassing, as government workers should never be allowed inside anyones private for the purpose to see how you live; unless they have full permission of the owers/occupents of the home.

February 2020 Chairman's Corner Newsletter

 

SB 6492 B & O Tax.  This would increase the general business and occupation tax rate from 1.5 percent to 1.8 percent for businesses with GROSS incomes over $1 million. This is another terrible tax that just will be eventually passed along to you, the consumer.  WA state has more than enough tax revenue, there is no need to keep penalizing businesses and their customers.

 

SB 6516 would force WA State employers to reduce the workweek for their employees to thirty-two hours.  AN ACT Relating to reducing the workweek to thirty-two hours unless the employee receives compensation for employment in excess of these hours at a rate not less than one and one-half times their regular rate; and amending RCW 49.46.130.  This is an abuse of government power, it is not the proper role of government to mandate to employers how to run their businesses.

 

SB 6625 universal basic income.  This law would create a two-year test pilot universal basic income program.  The legislation states: The legislature declares that all Washington families deserve basic financial security and that it is the goal of the state of Washington to ensure economic sustainability for all families.  The idea: Give 500 adults in Washington state $500 a month. The trial benefit would be available to people who are also eligible for assistance through the state’s Basic Food program.  This is pure socialism and not a good use of taxpayer dollars, truly a "hand out" (not a "hand up") only making Washington a “welfare state.”

 

SB 5323 bans the use of plastic bags.  This failed last year but seems to have more traction in 2020.  If the bill becomes law, shoppers will have to either bring their own bags or pay an 8-cent fee for a reusable carryout plastic bag.  More needless government mandates, let the business owners, customers, citizenry and free markets decide.  I am all for helping curb plastic waste but perhaps first state government should concentrate on removing true health hazards by facilitating the disposal of plastic syringes that are littering our state!

 

HB 2907 would allow King County to tax businesses on any employee earning $150,000 per year or more.  Another attempt at a head tax that punishes employers and taxes jobs.  If this gets implemented expect the prices of goods and services to increase for these businesses as employers will just pass along the costs to the consumers.

 

SB 6586 pay per mile tax would charge a per-mile fee for electric and hybrid vehicles. Although this bill is specific to electric vehicles at this time, it is a step towards taxing all drivers on a pay-per-mile basis. This will hurt our rural commuters the most. There are also serious concerns about individual privacy and location tracking should pay-per-mile be implemented.

February 2020 Chairman's Corner Newsletter

HB 2779 Rent Control.  This law would take away private property rights from landlords and cede them over to the government.  It would give government officials decision making authority for rent prices and place price and supply restrictions on housing supply in WA state.  Rent Control is collectivism and will increase costs, slash housing creation and kill our private sector.  We have a housing crisis shortage and need more supply, not less.

 

SB 6490 forbids all landlords in the state from using criminal background checks in determining new tenants. Proposed new law would read: A landlord may not: (a) Advertise, publicize, or implement any policy or practice that automatically or categorically excludes from any rental housing all individuals with any arrest record or conviction record; (b) Require disclosure, inquire about, or take an adverse action against a prospective tenant, tenant, or member of the tenant's household, based on any arrest record or conviction record, except as provided in (c) of this subsection and subject to the exclusions and legal requirements in subsection of this section.  This is absolutely terrible legislation that seriously endangers existing tenants safety!

This proposed law is based off of the "Fair Chance Housing Ordinance," which was put into law in the city of Seattle in 2018, it requires a Landlord to NOT request, view or consider a criminal record search when an applicant applies for a rental.  The dangerous Seattle ordinance only fosters lawlessness and if implemented at the state level SB 6490 would do the same.  E.g. 3 people were recently murdered in the Westlake Mall area (one victim was a 9 yr old). One of the suspects has 21 arrests, 3 felony convictions and 12 gross misdemeanors.  The 2nd suspect has 44 arrests, 1 felony and 18 gross misdemeanors convictions.  It does not take a rocket scientist to connect the dots, this law is a recipe for disaster and if implemented would be a statewide catastrophe. 

Of note: If you are a landlord in Seattle, when ever you rent to a new tenant you MUST provide the tenant (s) with voter registration materials, or be subject to fines and penalties.

 

Summary: It is painfully obvious that the new speaker of the House Laurie Jinkins, who has gone on record saying "that nothing is off the table," means it.  Laurie and the Democrat caucus have proven this with the aforementioned proposed legislation.  Additionally, they even doubled down as one of the first actions their caucus took in the session was to ask the state Supreme Court to overturn a decades old precedent to allow local income taxes.  Expect more capital gains, B & O, and other taxes to follow, because that's what Democrats do!

 

In contrast to the Democrats, state Republican are working on lowering and eliminating taxes, Increasing legislative efficiency and transparency, and standing up for law and order, examples include:

LD 2 Rep. Andrew Barkis and GOP caucus colleagues who are proposing a transportation funding solution package that respects the will of the voters, while funding and meeting our state's transportation needs, without raising taxes.

Plan includes: HB 2194 which holds the state legislature accountable by restricting executive discretion in adjusting transportation budgets  HB 2227 Implementing $30 car tabs (the will of the voters).  HB 2323 Establishing a new funding source for transportation through existing means.  HB 2285 Making preservation and maintenance a priority for transportation by re-prioritizing the state's six transportation system policy goals.  The bill adds resilience to the definition of stewardship and requires state transportation agencies to perform their powers, duties, and functions with preservation and safety as the preeminent priority among the state's transportation system policy goals; and encourages the executive branch to establish objectives and plan to reduce the preservation and replacement backlog in the transportation system, for the 2022 legislative session.  

February 2020 Chairman's Corner Newsletter

LD 19 Rep. Jim Walsh HB 2190 which would end to title-only bills (introduced with no content, title-only bills, commonly called “ghost bills,” are amended later with text and often rushed through the legislative process with no transparency.  This bill would stop this practice by giving the people and their representatives time to review legislation before it's voted on.  What a concept!

Walsh's HB 2222 seeks to property taxes to reflect the amount of increased tax revenue being collected by the state.  This bill would gradually lower the state's portion of property taxes by 35% over the next few years.

HB 2223 Protects second amendment rights.  So-called 'red-flag' laws can be used to target victims in need of the wherewithal to protect themselves from their abuser.  This bill would put limits on laws that allow law enforcement to confiscate firearms from people who have NOT committed a crime.

HB 2267 Establishing the will of the people.  After voters reject a statewide ballot measure, there are winners and losers. The bill would prohibit policy statements or executive orders that run counter to initiatives or referendums rejected by the people in a statewide election.  Thanks Jim for these common sense reforms!

 

20th LD Sen. John Braun’s Senate Joint Resolution 8207, would add the requirement for a four-year balanced budget in the state constitution. The bill text sets requirements that after enacted the first biennial operating budget would require a positive ending fund balance in state funds, stipulating that for the following biennium the budget “shall not exceed the available fiscal resources.”  Finally some fiscal responsibility!

February 2020 Chairman's Corner Newsletter

 

LD 31 Rep. Drew Stokesbary House Bill 2479 “Reaffirming the prohibition of the imposition of a local income tax.”  NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. The legislature finds that Substitute Senate Bill No. 4313 (SSB 4313), which in 1984 passed the Washington state senate with a vote of 43-5 and the Washington state house of representatives with a vote of 94-1 and was subsequently codified in chapter 36.65 RCW, prohibited the imposition of an income tax by a city, county, or city-county. The legislature also finds that the Washington court of appeals recently held that SSB 4313 unconstitutionally violated the single subject rule in Article II, 13 section of the state Constitution, thereby removing the statutory prohibition against local income taxes.  Thanks Drew, lets hope that the Legislature reaffirms to the courts and their citizenry to uphold the state constitution and decades of precedence!
 

WA state has the lowest number of law enforcement per capita in the nation.  7th LD Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber's HB 2560 seeks to change this by requiring the Criminal Justice Training Center (CJTC) to provide at least 15 basic law enforcement academy trainings per fiscal year.

Her HB 2539 would create a law enforcement outreach program specifically focused on rebuilding trust with diverse communities, with the purpose of making law enforcement a viable career.  This will establish relationships with these communities and encourage (and hopefully help to recruit) the next generation of law enforcement officers.

February 2020 Chairman's Corner Newsletter

House Bill 2537 would establish law enforcement training standards.  Law enforcement is continually dealing with increased mental health, body cam and deadly force issues. Taking a proactive approach to training and standards will benefit law enforcement officers and the communities they serve.  Thanks to Jacquelin for these bills to increase law enforcement, improve training and allow more officers in underserved areas.  Its important to support law enforcement who are keeping our communities safe.

 

Additionally the State House Republican Caucus knows Homelessness is severely impacting our entire state – urban, suburban and rural areas.  It is a complex issue including drug usage, lack of enforcement of current laws, and those who cannot afford a place to live.  Republican legislators are also working on affordable housing solutions to address the affordable housing crisis.

House Bill 2687 would plan for affordable housing under the Growth Management Act;

House Bill 1353 would modify zoning regulations related to accessory dwelling units;

House Bill 1938 would create a local infrastructure investment program to support the development of affordable housing, workforce housing, and revitalization efforts;

House Bill 2452 would reduce the real estate excise tax (REET) for multiple-use housing.

February 2020 Chairman's Corner Newsletter

 

Please contact your legislators and/or call the Olympic legislative hotline @ (800)-562-6000 and let them know your thoughts on the 2020 proposed legislation.

 

Much has been written and said about the Matt Shea situation, here is a recap of events and what we know:  Last summer the WA State Democrat House leadership contracted the "Rampart Group" (a Democrat-leaning organization) to investigate LD 4 State House Rep. Matt Shea. The Rampart Group ended up spending over $120,000 of tax payer money and wrote a 108 page hit piece dossier aimed at taking Matt Shea out of office. Much of the 108 page report has been debunked.  Among other things, the report says Shea helped plan, engaged in or promoted three armed conflicts against the U.S. government in recent years. It called his actions in one — the 2016 standoff at an Oregon wildlife refuge — an “act of domestic terrorism against the United States.” 

Some of the allegations were of serious concern to House Republican leaders, so before the report was revealed to the public GOP leadership asked Matt on several occasions to answer and explain many of the allegations.  Matt refused to answer, return calls / texts, etc. Because Matt chose not to respond to many of the specific allegations (probably because of his attorney's advice) Republican leaders felt it would be very problematic for Matt to be in the caucus this session.  They disciplined him by "temporally" suspending him (with pay) and removing him from the caucus, committees and staff.

February 2020 Chairman's Corner Newsletter

It is important to understand that Matt Shea has been representing Spokane Valley constituents since 2008 and he is still is a voting member of the legislature and has a platform in Olympia to get his message out.  House Republican leaders are hoping that he is eventually exonerated and in 2020 it will be up to the voters of LD 4 to decide if Matt Shea will be serving another term in Olympia. In the coming weeks and months expect more documents to be released. After all the evidence comes out and questions are answered, if you want to support Matt Shea then help to get him re-elected.

 

On February 11th for the first time in history voters will cast ballots through their touch-screen mobile phone devices in the race for King Conservation District Board of Supervisors. Registered voters will log into an online portal using their name and date of birth to get access to their ballot. King County Executive Dow Constantine said, “Mobile voting could very well be the next frontier, I am proud that King County is yet again at the center of a pioneering new approach." 

This will be the first election in U.S. history  in which all eligible voters  will be able to vote using their personal devices.  The King Conservation District, a state environmental agency that encompasses Seattle and more than 30 other cities, is scheduled to use the plan where about 1.2 million eligible voters could take part.

February 2020 Chairman's Corner Newsletter

Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman, who oversees most of the state’s elections says "This is vulnerable for attack and Cyber experts I have worked with, including the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Washington National Guard, overwhelmingly have identified electronic transmission as too risky for voting and could leave voter information and election infrastructure impaired."   This is a no-brainer, voting using cell phones is fraught with peril and would only make voter fraud even more rampant. 

 

The Seattle City Council is now considering a plan that could dramatically increase the number of homeless encampments around the city, including in residential zones, in perpetuity.  Under the proposed legislation, some encampments could go up with no required public input and without the ability to appeal the permit granting the encampment. And there’s no real program to ensure the encampments will produce positive results once they’re installed.

Socialist City Councilmember Kshama Sawant is the sponsor of Council Bill 119656, which may get a vote as early as this month.  Under the legislation, transitional homeless encampments would be allowed “on all publicly owned or private property within the city of Seattle” with a limit of 40, up from the current limit of three. It would permit them “on any property owned or controlled by a religious organization without approval of a permit under the Seattle Land Use Code,” including on land not connected to the principal property.  While the permit would have to be renewed every year, there’s no limit to the amount of renewals, meaning an encampment can stay in the location in perpetuity. They are allowed to hold up to 100 homeless individuals.  Expect more lawsuits!

 

FAKE NEWS UPDATE: Virginians have been calling for the removal of Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam after his suggested gun control policies drew huge crowds to protest the governor at a recent Pro-Second Amendment rally in Richmond.  Since there was no violence whatsoever at the rally, CBS Evening News decided to make-up some fake news and claim there was; as Anchor Maurice DuBois began discussing the event by falsely claiming there was “more than a week” of “violence” leading up to the rally. But in reality there wasn’t.

February 2020 Chairman's Corner Newsletter

Before he even got to the report, and longer still until CBS eventually admitted there was no violence, DuBois used the opening of the program to mislead viewers by suggesting rally goers forced Richmond law enforcement to deploy riot police (which never happened).  Typical Democrat Operative Media!

 

A new study analyzing the partisanship of college professors says Democratic professors now outnumber their Republican counterparts by nearly nine to one.  The study published by the National Association of Scholars looked at partisanship among professors at the highest U.S. News ranked private and public institutions in each state. Researchers used public voter and Federal Election Commission databases to determine the party affiliation and donation history of each professor.  The study included 12,372 professors. 48.4 percent were registered Democrats, and 5.7 percent were registered Republicans. The huge disparity is a big concern for our youth as the overwhelmingly number of Democratic professors is not in balance with the general population.  

 

Last week President Trump became the first sitting president ever to address the March for Life in person.  Trump told the crowd of Pro-life advocates that “Unborn children have never had a stronger defender in the White House, from the first day in office I've taken historic action to support America's families and to protect the unborn."  Trump spoke at the event with other anti-abortion advocates and lawmakers, running down the list of things he has done to advance the “pro-life” cause saying “They are coming after me because I am fighting for you, and we are fighting for those who have no voice, and we will win because we know how to win."

February 2020 Chairman's Corner Newsletter

 

The Republican National Committee reported its best-ever fundraising non-presidential year ever.  This is the latest signal the GOP is outpacing Democrats as they race towards the 2020 elections.  Republicans collected $26.5 million in December, a record for the month.  In total, the RNC and Trump's fundraising committees brought in nearly a half-billion dollars ($463.6 million) in 2019, with $194.8 million cash-on-hand. The RNC itself raised $241.1 million, which officials said is a record for a non-presidential election year!

 

A well deserved congratulations to LD 10 Senator Ron Muzzall who was unanimously elected as Deputy Whip by his Senate Republican caucus colleagues.  The Deputy Whip is responsible for assisting the whip in monitoring attendance of the Senators during floor sessions and caucuses. In addition to aiding leadership in communicating procedural votes to other members, the Deputy Whip acts as the whip in the event of their absence.  Ron was also put on the Senate State Government, Tribal Relations, Elections, Ways & Means and the Health & Long Term Care Committees. 

 

Don't forget that next Saturday, February 8th you are invited to the Elect Bill Bruch for State House Campaign Kickoff!  The event will be from 5 pm to 7 pm at the Corporate Air Center in Burlington (Map).  This will be a lot of fun with catered food, drinks and live music provided by "Collusion" aka "The Willie Doddridge Band".  Special guest include: LD 42 State House Representative Luanne Van Werven and LD 10 State Senator Ron Muzzall.

February 2020 Chairman's Corner Newsletter

 

Respect and Blessings,

Bill Bruch, SCRP Chairman

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