2024 legislative session •

Dear Friend:

Next week, you have an opportunity to let your voice be heard on three initiatives that will receive public hearings. Here are the details:

Republicans have fought for public hearings on these initiatives. We hope you will now weigh in. If you can’t testify in person, please consider submitting written testimony.

As I mentioned last week, the other three initiatives will not receive public hearings but will advance to the ballot in November: I-2117 (Repealing the carbon tax), I-2124 (Opting out of the state long-term care program and payroll tax), and I-2109 (Repealing the capital gains tax).

You can find information on all six initiatives here: Initiatives | 2024.

Opposition to House Democrats’ supplemental operating budget

Earlier today, House Republicans united in opposition and voted against the House Democrats’ supplemental operating budget. This proposal does not focus on the core challenges facing Washingtonians, including the high costs of gas, groceries, and housing. Instead, it spreads spending across more than 1,000 separate line items with little transparency or accountability.

This supplemental operating budget would continue a trend of massive state spending growth. As you can see below, the operating budget has more than doubled over the last decade — while the budgets of many individuals and families across our state are strained because of policies passed by the majority party. Fixing our state’s affordability crisis has been, and will continue to be, a priority for House Republicans.

Here are some more details on the plan:

  • Increases spending to $72 billion, a $2.2 billion (3%) increase over current 2023-25 spending.
  • Transfers $798 million from state reserves to the general fund.
  • Assumes revenue collections from the Climate Commitment Act (carbon tax) and capital gains tax.
  • Leaves a small ending fund balance of $82 million, plus $2.1 billion in reserves.

Support for House supplemental transportation and capital budgets

The House also passed its supplemental transportation budget today, with strong support from House Republicans. The proposal would provide more funding for preservation and maintenance, ferry operations and capital investments, and the Washington State Patrol. It would address emergent concerns at a critical time for our state transportation system.

While the House supplemental capital budget was not voted on today, it has the support of House Republicans. The proposal would make important investments in K-12 school construction, housing, mental health facilities, early learning facilities, and smaller projects across our state. Our ranking member on the House Capital Budget Committee, Rep. Peter Abbarno, was our lead negotiator and did a great job representing the needs of our communities and state.

Stay involved

When state lawmakers return to the Capitol on Monday morning, we will have 11 days to complete our work. A lot of important decisions will be made in a short amount of time. Please stay involved. You can find The Week Ahead here.

Warmly,

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