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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Before we cross the finish line on the first, and hopefully only, virtual legislative session, I invite you to join me for a LIVE virtual town hall tomorrow, Thursday, April 22 at 6 p.m.

During the online event, I'll share my perspective on some of the hotly contended bills debated and decided during the 2021 session. I'll also answer your questions and give a quick overview of the state's spending plans, including the climate-driven transportation package introduced just a few short days ago by the majority party.

Register here or click below to take part in the meeting.

When: Thursday, April 22
Time: 6-7 p.m.
Register by clicking here.

The registration link includes a section where you can submit questions prior to the online meeting. Anyone needing more information on how to register or take part in the event can email or call (360) 485-0547.

Public policy topics we'll discuss include:

Banning the use of vaccine passports: Washingtonians across the state, concerned about being restricted from public spaces if they choose not to get the COVID-19 vaccine, support stopping the use of the so-called “vaccine passports.” My proposal, House Bill 1570, was introduced too late this session to get a hearing, but I plan to reintroduce the measure in the next legislative session.

Reforming the powers of the executive office during an emergency: The Legislature needs more, not less authority, during an emergency. My bill concerning the governor's emergency powers, House Bill 1029, died early in the legislative session. The majority party also rejected another bill, House Bill 1557, sponsored by one of my Republican colleagues. Both bills sought to put some “bumpers” on governor's seemingly unlimited authority during a state of emergency.

The capital gains income tax: Senate Bill 5096, the capital gains income tax proposal, opens the door to an income tax for all Washingtonians in the future. It's unconstitutional, unnecessary, and will drive businesses out of the state, further hindering economic recovery.

The Blake decision: Washington State Supreme Court's Blake ruling struck down the state's felony drug possession law. Republicans offered several bills as solutions, none of which were approved or even seriously considered by the majority party. Instead, Democrats offered their own watered-down version of a solution, Senate Bill 5476, a proposal not even fully supported by their caucus.

Critical race theory: This new institutional orthodoxy has intersected through several legislative proposals during this session. We'll discuss its affect on bills and state agencies. One example is Senate Bill 5405, which substantially redirects the activities of the Washington State Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee (JLARC). 

Cap and trade: The creation of a cap-and-trade program, Senate Bill 5126, will harm both businesses and taxpayers. Combined with the capital gains income tax, if fully approved, this will force several businesses to flee the state, which is why it has been dubbed the “Business Relocation Act.”

House Bill 1287 plans to require electric or hydrogen-based vehicles and ban internal combustion light-duty vehicles as of model year 2030. Along with essentially banning the sale of new internal combustion-engine cars starting in 2030, the bill is also contingent on the state adopting the extremely controversial road usage charge or RUC.

The low carbon fuel standard (LCFS): House Bill 1091, is not smart public policy. It's costly and ineffective. Research by the Washington Department of Ecology and Puget Sound Air Agency estimates LCFS will reduce air pollution particles by less than one percent by 2028. When Oregon and California implemented their programs, 93% of its costs did nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

I look forward to talking with you about these, and other important public policy issues!

Sincerely,


Jim Walsh

State Representative Jim Walsh, 19th Legislative District
RepresentativeJimWalsh.com
428 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
jim.walsh@leg.wa.gov
360-786-7806 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000