Dear Friends and Neighbors,
***** E-MAIL ALERT *****
HELP STOP SENATE BILL 6130
In my last e-newsletter, I highlighted legislation in the state Senate that would toss out the Taxpayer Protection Act of 2007 (Initiative 960). A bill has passed out of the Senate and is now in the state House, where I am fighting against it.
The Taxpayer Protection Act, which the citizens of Washington enacted in 2007, requires any tax increase to be approved by either a two-thirds vote of the Legislature, or by a vote of the people. If Senate Bill 6130 is approved, it will: remove the two-thirds vote requirement from the Legislature for tax increases; eliminate all public e-mail notifications for tax increases; and prevent citizen advisory votes on tax increases.
The purpose of Senate Bill 6130 is clear: to raise taxes. There are 75 bills in the state House that, when added up, would increase taxes or fees by $2.7 billion.
The Taxpayer Protection Act passed with a solid majority in the 5th District. By enacting I-960, the people of Washington told the Legislature they wanted transparency, accountability and bipartisan cooperation in matters of budgeting and taxation. The measure passed in good economic times, and I believe many voters had the foresight to seek protections from onerous tax increases when bad economic times arrived. And we are now in the midst of these very conditions today. These taxpayer protections have never been more important to families and small businesses than they are today.
Senate Bill 6130 will likely be heard in the House Finance Committee tomorrow, Feb. 13, at 9:00 a.m. This will take place in House Hearing Room A in the John L. O'Brien Building. I encourage you to attend the hearing, or contact Democrat members of the committee directly.
I always try to work in a bipartisan way on solutions that will help our communities and state. Yet, I must emphasize that the effort to eliminate the Taxpayer Protection Act is being led by Democrats only. This is the problem with one-party rule in Olympia. Rather than work in a collaborative manner to develop a sustainable budget which I-960 requires, my colleagues in the majority party have opted to throw out this initiative to pave the way for significant tax increases. They are choosing to ask more from struggling taxpayers rather than asking for more sacrifices in state government.
I support a completely different approach. I believe our state should prioritize its government, reform its budget process and not rely on either tax increases or increasing its debt limit. This is not rhetoric – there are solutions on the table that would accomplish these goals.
If you have any questions, please contact me. I hope you have a good weekend.