FIX THE AFFORDABILITY CRISIS

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House Bill 2040

The Carbon Auction Rebate (CAR) Program

Provide a $200 gas rebate to Washington drivers funded by surplus revenue from the carbon tax to help offset high gas prices caused by the Climate Commitment Act. (Filed in 2024: Did not receive a hearing.)

The Democrats’ proposed operating budget did nothing to address high gas prices and spent all of the $1.3 billion in surplus carbon tax revenue on new programs and projects. House Republican Amendment 1107 to Senate Bill 5950 would have provided a one-time gas rebate to the 5.9 million registered Washington vehicle owners. House Democrats voted it down, 53-41.

Sponsor: Rep. April Connors
Status: Ignored by Democrats
Comment on HB 2040
Initiative 2117

Repeal the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program

Repeal the Climate Commitment Act and the associated carbon tax and prohibit state agencies from imposing a future carbon trading program. (This is an initiative to the 2024 Legislature filed by the citizens of Washington state: Did not receive a hearing.)

The day after Initiative 2117 was certified by the Secretary of State, House Republicans made a procedural motion to require the Environment & Energy Committee to hold a public hearing for I-2117. Every House Democrat opposed the motion, voting it down, 58-39.

Sponsor: The People of Washington
Status: Ignored by Democrats
Comment on I-2117
House Bill 1704

Sales tax relief

Reduce the state sales tax rate by 0.5%, which would primarily benefit lower-income families and help make our state’s tax system more fair. (Filed in 2023: Did not receive a hearing. In 2024: Did not receive a hearing.)

Sponsor: Rep. Ed Orcutt
Status: Ignored by Democrats
Comment on HB 1704
House Bill 1011

Long-term care trust act and payroll tax repeal

Repeal the unpopular long-term care program and payroll tax to ensure that Washington workers aren’t forced to pay for benefits they don’t want or need. (Filed in 2023: Did not receive a hearing. In 2024: Did not receive a hearing.)

Sponsor: Rep. Peter Abbarno
Status: Ignored by Democrats
Comment on HB 1011
House Bill 2439

State and local income tax ban

Prohibit state and local governments from imposing an income tax. (Filed in 2024: Did not receive a hearing.)

Sponsor: Rep. Mike Volz
Status: Ignored by Democrats
Comment on HB 2439
House bill 1456

Prevent retail theft

Modify the definition of theft so that security officers can actually stop shoplifters when they conceal merchandise rather than only when they leave the store.

Additional amendments and motions offered by House Republicans

The Democrats’ initial operating budget proposal provided one-time $200 electric utility rebates to low- and moderate-income households, but only if voters retain the costly Climate Commitment Act (CCA) by rejecting Initiative 2117 in November. House Republican Amendment 1100 to Senate Bill 5950 would have extended the rebate to gas utility customers and guaranteed the payments even if voters repeal the CCA. House Democrats voted it down, 55-40.

House Bill 1985 provides a one-time cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to certain retired teachers and public employees. House Republican Amendment 840 would have made the COLA ongoing and permanent, providing much needed security against rampant inflation in our state. House Democrats rejected the amendment, 54-43.

The Democrats’ proposed operating budget did not increase Medicaid rates for most services performed by physicians and nurses. Because Washington’s reimbursement rates for Medicaid rates are the third-lowest in the nation, low-income patients do not have equitable access to doctors and medical facilities, and providers who do accept Medicaid are forced to cost-shift and charge more to private insurers, raising health care costs for all Washingtonians. House Republican Amendment 1108 to Senate Bill 5950 would have increased Medicaid rates for professional services provided at clinics and hospitals by physicians, physician assistants, and ARNPs to the Medicare rate. House Democrats voted it down, 52-42.

The Democrats’ operating budget did not provide any funding to address our broken ferry system, which negatively impacts ferry communities, endangers livelihoods, and drives up transportation costs when commuters and other ferry riders must choose alternative options. House Republican Amendment 1109 to Senate Bill 5950 would have provided $450 million to purchase two non-hybrid electric ferries under the ferry emergency declaration in House Bill 2498, a measure proposed by Transportation Committee Ranking Member Andrew Barkis that had bipartisan support. House Democrats voted down the amendment, 56-39.