Safely getting Washingtonians back to work, school, and a more normal life
Governor Inslee’s myopic response to the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated parts of our economy and created a persistent feeling of frustration and hopelessness for communities across our state. The governor’s shutdown orders have led to the closure of thousands of small businesses, many of which will never reopen. Meanwhile, parents have struggled with childcare and students have fallen behind academically in the face of prolonged school closures. Additionally, these shutdowns have exacerbated problems related to mental health, substance abuse, homelessness, and more. We will bring these forgotten voices to the legislative arena and fight to safely get them back to work, school, and a more normal life in 2021.
Standing up for Washington families by opposing tax increases, including any form of an income tax, and working to make life more affordable
As families and employers attempt to recover from the economic devastation COVID-19 has wrought, the governor is again pushing for punitive and unnecessary tax increases — including proposals that would make health care, gasoline, and home energy more expensive. He is also once again pushing for an income tax on capital gains, which is not only an unpredictable and unreliable tax, but plainly unconstitutional. Washingtonians have a long record of opposing tax increases. We stand with them. House Republicans will instead be advocating for tax relief and a balanced budget that respects Washington taxpayers.
Holding Democrats accountable for mismanagement at all levels, especially in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
The governor and his appointees have overseen several major failures in state government — including the Employment Security Department’s inability to prevent massive fraud and deliver timely unemployment benefits to those in desperate need. Other failures include the early release of prisoners, cost overruns for transportation projects, data breaches, decertification of Western State Hospital, and heartbreaking outcomes for children in our foster care system. Mistakes of this magnitude are unacceptable and cannot be tolerated. We will hold the governor and his state agencies accountable and work to restore the public’s trust by increasing oversight and advancing reforms that improve outcomes.
Protecting our communities by fully funding law enforcement, providing vital mental health services, and working to end the homelessness crisis
Chronic homelessness, drug addiction, crime, gang activity, and untreated mental illness have made many of our communities unsafe. Rather than addressing the root causes of these problems and making difficult decisions to fix them, Democrats have enabled destructive behavior and left our law enforcement professionals without needed support. House Republicans honor and respect those who serve and protect our communities and oppose all efforts to defund the police. With a focus on compassion, enforcement, and accountability, we will work to keep our streets, neighborhoods, and families safe.
Reining in the governor’s unilateral emergency powers
The power to create laws belongs to the Legislature and the people. To grapple with time-sensitive emergency situations, the Legislature has granted a portion of its lawmaking power to the governor. Riots, enemy attack, weather disasters and the like require a rapid response, but the lawmaking authority granted to the governor must have limits. The people of Washington state should not be ruled by proclamations and unilateral orders for months on end. We must ensure the representatives of the people, both in the Legislature and in their local governments, are not shut out of the process by a governor intent on acting alone.