Legislative Update: My car-tab relief bills are getting a hearing, we need YOU to testify in support

My car-tab relief bills are getting a hearing, we need YOU to testify in support

I’m pleased to announce that my bills addressing car-tab relief and Pierce County’s participation in the Sound Transit light rail project have been scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Transportation Committee at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 4 in Senate Hearing Room 1, John A. Cherberg building on the Capitol campus in Olympia.
I have repeatedly expressed my support for a long-term solution to transportation funding in the wake of I-976 – a solution that will redirect an existing source of revenue to pay for transportation without creating a new tax. I also believe that the voters’ will must be respected and legislators have a duty to enact the $30 car-tab initiative I-976. This is why I sponsored Senate Bill 6245 and Senate Bill 6108.
SB 6245 enacts the $30 car-tab fees you approved in November. It also redirects sales tax on vehicle purchases from the operating budget to the transportation budget, backfilling any losses from lower revenue as a result of car-tab fees.
SB 6108, also known as #SoundTrexit, would remove Pierce County from ST3, which is the Sound Transit light rail project responsible for the unfair car-tabs you are now forced to pay. Pierce County voters rejected ST3 in the first place and never should have been subjected to the exorbitant licensing fees, property tax, and sales tax increase that resulted.
The will of the voters should be respected. We need alternative solutions that don’t raise taxes — not a lawsuit and not a bill like one sponsored recently by a member of the majority party. Senate Bill 6606 undermines the voters’ wishes by repealing I-976.
That’s right! The majority party has proposed a bill that repeals much of an initiative that voters in some counties rejected by more than 70 percent. That is completely unacceptable. We work for YOU.
We need you to testify on behalf of my bills.
On February 4, come tell why you support enacting the
$30 car-tab initiative (SB 6245)or why you think Pierce County should
be able to exit the ST3 project (SB 6108).
Or, come testify against SB 6606 and

Nursing homes and health-care providers under attack from tax increases

This week, the Senate debated Senate Bill 6492, which enacts a business tax increase on a variety of businesses such as veterinarians, independent doctors and dentists. It would also apply a business tax increase to nursing homes.
I’ve shared with you before how Washington’s skilled nursing facilities are struggling because Medicaid reimbursements are too low and are based on outdated data. I sponsored Senate Bill 6396, which would increase Medicaid reimbursements for skilled nursing care and update them annually so the information we use is current. Our parents and grandparents who need skilled care shouldn’t be left out in the cold.
I offered a number of amendments to SB 6492, but all were rejected by the majority party. At the end of the debate, it passed on a party line vote. Below is a clip of me talking about the amendment I offered to exempt nursing homes from the tax increase. Take a look.

Saving salmon NOW to help the orca without removing the Snake River dams

Watch the news conference where Republicans announce a plan to act now to increase the salmon population and save the orca whales. Breaching the Snake River dams is unnecessary and would take decades to implement as the effort works its way through the court system. Our plan would be modeled after a hatchery program in Alaska that has had startling success. Learn more about the plan.