Elephant LEGS ends Sunday
Our last KCR meeting was described as "powerful and overwhelming." Thank you to Jana Hughs, Gary Wilson, and Jennifer Heinnewithe who gave us great (and alarming) insight into our libraries and schools. They did not present hypotheticals, they presented real world examples that are occurring now within our state and county.
Concerned about the direction of your town or schools? Run for a seat on the Council or Board!
In the last local election, almost 80% of the positions went uncontested. Many of these positions require meeting once a month or a few times a year. Anything important will require some of your time, but your decisions will last a lifetime. Be a legacy in your county.
These are the seats up for election this November: https://voter.votewa.gov/ScheduledRaces.aspx?y=2021&c=20
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The WA State Legislature adjourns this Sunday. Thank you to Senator Curtis King and Representatives Gina Mosbrucker and Chris Corry for being our voice in Olympia. The following is a summary from the WA State Republican Party of where we stand today:
SB 5599 is a deeply concerning bill getting national attention right now, and rightly so. This bill allows shelters to hide runaway or homeless youth without parental permission. This effectively bypasses parental consent, separating loving parents from their children without even notifying the parent.
This bill removes a parent's ability to protect and make important decisions for their children. Moreover, the bill allows host homes to house youth without parental permission if the youth is seeking or receiving protected health care services, including gender reassignment services, further undermining parental authority. This bill diminishes the essential role that parents play in their children's lives and upbringing.
Introduced late in the session, SB 5770 aims to overturn a voter-approved law by increasing property taxes. Titled "Providing state and local property tax reform," this bill proposes changing the property tax growth factor for the state and local governments from 1% to 3% and adjusting the definition of inflation to grow faster by using the CPI instead of the IPD measure.
This proposed tax increase undermines the will of the voters and takes advantage of a loophole in the state constitution to avoid the 2/3 vote requirement for late-session bills. The session is scheduled to end on April 23, and taxpayers should remain vigilant as the debate unfolds.
HB 1240 is a misguided attempt to increase public safety by prohibiting the manufacture, importation, distribution, selling, and offering for sale of so-called "assault weapons." This legislation not only fails to address the root causes of gun violence but also infringes on the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens. We must oppose this ineffective and unconstitutional rifle ban for the following reasons:
Ineffectiveness in Reducing Gun Violence: The majority of gun-related crimes are committed with illegally obtained firearms, and handguns are the weapon of choice in 98% of gun deaths. This rifle ban does not address these facts and, as a result, will not significantly impact gun violence rates. Additionally, previous bans on assault weapons, such as the federal ban that expired in 2004, have had no measurable impact on gun violence.
Unconstitutional Infringement on Second Amendment Rights: HB 1240's rifle ban targets some of the most commonly owned firearms used for self-defense, violating citizens' constitutional rights. This legislation is likely to be found unconstitutional under the Supreme Court's new history, text, and tradition test, resulting in costly legal battles for the state and taxpayers.
Discrimination Against Women and People with Disabilities: Modern sporting rifles, such as the AR-15, are the preferred choice for self-defense among women and some people with disabilities due to their adjustable stocks, low recoil, and availability of self-defense ammunition. By banning these firearms, HB 1240 unfairly discriminates against these vulnerable groups.
Instead of focusing on ineffective and unconstitutional bans, we should address the real problems contributing to gun violence. This includes implementing tougher sentencing guidelines, holding criminals accountable, and providing increased support to law enforcement agencies to prevent dangers before they occur. Reject HB 1240 and pursue meaningful solutions to reduce gun violence while respecting the rights of law-abiding citizens.
Engrossed Second Substitute Senate Bill 5536 (ESSSB 5536) aims to address drug possession and substance use disorders in response to the February 2021 ruling in State v. Blake. However, this bill does not go far enough in its approach to criminalization, treatment, and overall effectiveness in supporting those struggling with addiction. Rep. Gina Mosbrucker, R-Goldendale, offered an amendment that would have increased consequences to a gross misdemeanor classification, which would provide more time for addicts to detox and allow for plea bargaining to cater to the individual's needs. However, this amendment failed under the Democrat majority. Adding to the opposition, local mayors, including several Snohomish County mayors and Spokane Mayor, are expressing concern over the House-amended bill. The combined dissent from both Republican lawmakers and local mayors underscores the need for a more comprehensive approach to effectively tackle drug possession and addiction issues in the state.
SB 5082 is the Democrat majority's way of forgetting about the voters, and removing their opinion from being heard on the ballot. This bill is currently sitting on the Governor's desk and could be signed at any time. It will remove advisory votes, which were added to law via Citizen Initiative in 2001. Advisory votes are important for public engagement and accountability, as they allow the voice of the public to be heard on tax increase legislation. Removing these votes weakens the voting process and undermines the will of the people.
Capital Gains Tax Ruling
The recent Washington State Supreme Court ruling on the capital gains tax has shown its true partisan nature by redefining a capital gains tax as an excise tax, ignoring all precedent, and blatantly disregarding the tax structures in all 49 other states and countries around the world. This clearly partisan ruling has opened the floodgates for Democrats to target specific industries and incomes with new taxes, without explicitly calling them income taxes. In the wake of this ruling, Democrats have swiftly moved to propose SB 5767, the so-called "excess compensation tax." This bill aims to impose a 7.5% "excise tax" on hospital administrator jobs that Democrats arbitrarily deem overpaid. By pursuing such a tax, they are exploiting this ruling and setting a dangerous precedent for future taxes on other industries and incomes. This blatant abuse of our system of government and dramatic overreach by Democrats raises the question: who will they target next?