Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The Legislature is back in person for the first time in nearly three years. Much of the work I do throughout the legislative session will be centered around four key areas:
Reducing your cost of living
We should cut the state sales tax, reduce property taxes, and repeal the Long-Term Care Trust Act and the tax that funds it.
Making communities safer
We should make drugs illegal again, close encampments, put more officers on the streets, address the rise in auto thefts, and allow police to pursue criminals again.
Fixing our housing crisis
We need to create Housing Opportunity Zones to reduce the burdensome red tape that is stifling housing development, expedite the housing permits, and expand development boundaries.
While our state ranks 1st in the nation in teacher salaries and 4th in teacher benefits, it ranks 28th in overall student performance, 30th in SAT scores, and 42nd in high school graduation rates. We need to recover from learning loss due to COVID, provide school choice, and expand the working families tax credit.
Gov. Inslee’s transportation budget delays North-South freeway completion
As most of you know by now, the governor’s transportation budget would delay the completion of the North-South freeway project by up to six years! This is unacceptable. As I said in my statement to the media on this fiasco:
“I will work with my legislative colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make sure he understands what this project means to the safety of our communities and the local economy. We will make it crystal clear that we are united in our opposition and we will work to find a solution that ensures this decades-old project is completed on time.”
You can read my full statement here.
People should have final say on tax increases
Are you tired of consistently voting against tax increases through the tax advisory votes only to have the Legislature continually raise your taxes? What if you had the final say and your vote was legally binding?
I am proposing a constitutional amendment that will automatically trigger a referendum (vote of the people) on any tax increase passed by the Legislature. As I said in my press release:
“The people I represent are tired of not being listened to. With runaway inflation, ever-increasing state budgets, and the costs for fuel and energy going up, the state government ‘hand in the wallet’ is getting to be a bit much. And, frankly, they’re not seeing the bang for their buck. They’re sending all this money to the state and yet they see housing and homelessness getting worse, crime getting worse, access to affordable health care getting worse, their students falling behind the rest of the nation, and the costs of higher education continuing to go up. Enough is enough. Let’s let the people have a say.”
You can read my full press release here.
Staying involved this legislative session
You can sign up for our daily e-news clipping service, The Capitol Buzz, with articles of interest from media sources around the state.
You can visit our legislative news aggregator, The Ledger, to see the latest legislative news stories from around the state.
You can visit TVW to watch committees, floor debates, weekly legislative programs, and more.
And finally, you can visit the Washington State Legislature website to find bills, committee reports and schedules, information about floor action and so much more. You can comment on any bill here, and you can sign in for remote committee testimony (something I’ve fought hard for even before COVID) here. And of course, you can always call my office in Olympia at (360) 786-7922 or email me at Mike.Volz@leg.wa.gov
Thank you for the honor and privilege of serving you in Olympia.