2024 interim •

Dear Friend:

With the legislative session ending on March 7, House Republicans have been back in their districts participating in forums, meeting with groups, visiting schools, and in some cases returning to their other jobs. We have also written post-session newsletters that are hitting district mailboxes now.

House Republicans entered the legislative session focused on solutions for the catalog of crises facing our state — including affordability, public safety, K-12 education, drugs, child care, and housing and homelessness. We introduced several bills and amendments that reflected these priorities and fought against bad bills that would take our state in the wrong direction on these issues. Our staff recently created a document that recaps the 2024 legislative session as it relates to our priorities. You can find it here:

Tax and fee increases passed by Democrats

House Republicans want to fix the affordability crisis. We introduced bills that would have helped Washingtonians struggling with high inflation and policies passed by the majority party. While we were successful in preventing any new tax increases this year, many people and employers are financially burdened by the nearly 50 new taxes and fees passed by the Democrats in the previous ten years. You can find the list of these taxes and fees at this webpage:

Successful House Republican bills

Over the last two legislative sessions, 116 bills prime sponsored by House Republicans were passed by the Legislature and sent to the governor’s desk to be signed. You can learn more about these measures here:

Bad bills that were stopped

When you are in the minority party, success is not just measured by how many bills you get passed. Success is also defined by how many bad bills you were able to help stop. Below is a list of extreme bills House and Senate Republicans were able to help stop over the last two years. Please note: This is not an exhaustive list.

  • House Bill 2001 would have allowed judges to reduce sentences of convicted criminals, other than a person sentenced as a persistent offender or for aggravated murder in the first degree, after they serve 7-10 years.
  • House Bill 2030 would have allowed all incarcerated individuals to vote, serve on juries, and run for public office.
  • House Bill 2051 would have banned many small gas-powered motors such as lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and snow blowers.
  • House Bill 2177 would have changed the name of the Sex Offender Policy Board to the Sex Offense Policy Board and expanded membership of the board to include a convicted sex offender.
  • Senate Bill 5241 would have provided the attorney general sole oversight when mergers of health care providers, such as hospitals, are proposed. The cost burden it would have created for providers would have been passed along to patients. This policy would have also reduced access to health care in rural areas.
  • Senate Bill 5770 would have tripled the growth rate of local property taxes by increasing the cap from 1% to 3%.

We featured these bills in a recent video shared on our caucus social media. Please consider watching and sharing this YouTube version.

Election-year restrictions

Due to election-year restrictions that begin on Monday, May 6, this will be the last edition of The Current until after the November general election results are certified. These restrictions will limit other legislative communications and caucus social media in this time frame. If you want to stay connected, please consider signing up for the Capitol Buzz and visiting and bookmarking our legislative news aggregator — The Ledger.

In closing, I would like to thank you for reading this publication over the last few months. I hope you have found it informative and I appreciate your interest in the legislative process and House Republicans.

Warmly,

Rep. Drew Stokesbary
House Republican Leader
drew.stokesbary@leg.wa.gov