Democrats like to say, “One Washington” and “Putting People First.” However, under their one-party control of Olympia, the facts show that many parts of Washington state have become unsafe, unaffordable and unaccountable.
Chronic homelessness, drug addiction, crime, and untreated mental illness have made many of our communities unsafe. Rather than addressing the root causes of these problems and making difficult decisions, Democrats have enabled destructive behavior and left our law enforcement professionals without needed support. Inadequate oversight from the Inslee Administration has also led to the decertification of Western State Hospital and allowed many people in dire need of help left to languish.
Parts of our state are experiencing economic prosperity, while others continue to face challenges. Under Democratic control, owning and renting a home — and raising a family — have become more expensive than ever. Onerous regulations and poor planning have caused a housing shortage and resulted in some of the worst traffic congestion in the nation. Inflexible state mandates have also driven up the costs of living, including child care, and running a small business. Combined with an ever-growing tax burden, life for Washingtonians has become increasingly unaffordable under one-party control.
The governor and Democrats have overseen major failures in state government — including the early release of prisoners, cost overruns for transportation projects, data breaches, decertification of Western State Hospital, and heart-breaking outcomes for children in our foster care system. A lack of accountability for these failures has broken the public’s trust. Meanwhile, state spending has exploded — growing by 70% since 2013. Without competent oversight and data-driven budgeting, our state cannot pinpoint whether new spending is having an impact on outcomes.
House Republicans believe that Washington state is your home and you should expect more. You should always feel safe in your home and community. You should not have to endure new tax, regulatory and financial burdens. And you should expect the governor and Legislature to be held accountable for their decisions and results.
When House Republicans consider legislation, we will look through the lens of: Will this make Washington state more safe, affordable and accountable?
The governor and Legislature must do more to help keep our communities and residents safe, including those who have homes and those who do not. Addressing public-safety challenges requires compassion, enforcement and accountability. Communities need the resources and tools to respond to the root causes of the homelessness. It is also important to provide our law enforcement professionals with the support they need to keep our communities safe. Some of our solutions include:
- Support our law enforcement professionals. | House Bill 2537, House Bill 2538, House Bill 2539, House Bill 2560
- Ensure safe neighborhoods through proactive policing. | House Bill 1501
- Crack down on property crime. | House Bill 1159
- Provide local governments more options to address homelessness. | House Bill 2282, House Bill 2658, House Bill 2639
- Prohibit supervised injection sites. | House Bill 2112
- Encourage safe schools through common-sense reforms. | House Bill 1035, House Bill 1507
- Protect communities from wildfires. | House Bill 1188
Everyone should have the opportunity to achieve their version of the American dream. The governor and Legislature should not get in the way of pursuing these dreams. Instead of supporting expensive policies, onerous regulations and new tax increases that drive up the cost of living, we must work to make life more affordable for everyone. Some of our ideas include:
- Implement $30 car tabs. | House Bill 2227, House Bill 2659
- Oppose all new taxes on income — including local, state and capital gains income taxes.
- Reaffirm the prohibition of the imposition of a local income tax. | House Bill 2479
- Oppose any new low-carbon fuel mandate or costly fuel program.
- Oppose a new vehicle-miles-driven tax or road user charge.
- Reduce the state property tax. | House Bill 2222
- Lower the cost of owning or renting a home. | House Bill 1353, House Bill 1805, House Bill 1938, House Bill 2010
- Streamline licensing and regulations to lower the cost of childcare. | House Bill 1378
- Provide a back-to-school sales tax holiday in support of parents and teachers. | House Bill 1559
- Establish a program to provide outreach, resources and housing for rural homeless and at-risk veterans. | House Bill 1939
- Lower the costs of attending college. | House Bill 1701, House Bill 1702
The governor and Legislature have an obligation to make the most of every tax dollar collected and spent. This starts with accountability for the decisions they make. State government should be focused on making programs and services more efficient, successful and transparent. By demanding accountability, increasing transparency and respecting the will of the voters, we can begin to restore the trust broken under years of unaccountable, one-party rule. Some of our concepts include:
- Protect all constitutional rights.
- Eliminate title-only, “ghost bills” and increase legislative transparency. | House Bill 2190
- Respect the will of the voters (I-976) and address transportation revenue shortfalls with existing revenue. | House Bill 2323
- Impose strict penalties for sewage spills into Puget Sound. | House Bill 2275
- Implement metrics and performance audits for state spending. | House Bill 2150
- Require a 2/3 majority of the Legislature to raise taxes. | House Joint Resolution 4206