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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

We are near the halfway point of the 2024 legislative session, and there is a lot to talk about. One of the most interesting issues we have addressed is the six initiatives that have been certified by the Secretary of State. Each of these initiatives received at least 325,000 signatures, which qualifies them to be on the November ballot. Here’s a brief explanation on two of the initiatives.

Initiative 2117 would repeal the two-year-old Climate Commitment Act, which imposes annual limits on greenhouse gas emissions for major emitters, such as oil refineries and utilities, and requires them to buy allowances at state auctions for each metric ton of their pollution.

The state raised $1.8 billion from allowance auctions last year. Despite its good intentions, the policy won’t have a significant impact on climate change. However, it is driving fuel, food, and energy prices higher, as companies pass the new expense onto consumers.


Initiative-2109 would repeal the capital gains excise tax imposed on sales and exchanges of long-term capital assets by individuals with capital gains over $250,000. The capital gains tax is an unpopular and unfair tax that is a precursor to implementing a state income tax.

To learn more about the other four initiatives, please click on the links below:

  • I-2113 would restore vehicular pursuit tools to law enforcement.
  • I-2081would establish a parents’ bill of rights.
  • I-2111 would codify Washington state’s longstanding tradition of prohibiting state and local personal income taxes.
  • I-2124 enables working individuals to choose not to participate in the Washington Cares Fund, a long-term care payroll tax program.

Each of these issues are part of the House Republican’s priorities, as we work to fix Washington. Click on the image below to learn more about the many crises we are facing and click here to learn about our solutions.


What Happens Next?

House Republicans made a separate motion on the floor for each initiative to receive a prompt public hearing in committee. House Democrats unanimously voted against the motion each time.

Here’s what could happen moving forward:

  1. The Legislature may adopt the initiatives as proposed and they would become law without a vote of the people.
  2. The Legislature may reject or refuse to act on the proposed initiatives, and they must be placed on the ballot at the next general election.
  3. The Legislature may propose a different measure dealing with the same subject for any of the initiatives and both measures must be placed on the next general election ballot.

Update on My 2024 Legislation

Several of my bills are still alive and making progress. All of them have had public hearings, three have passed committee, and one has been voted out of the House.

House Bill 2172 would require state agencies that own vacant properties within a qualifying city to lease those properties to the city for use during a declared emergency related to homelessness. Click here to learn more.

House Bill 2340 would reduce Department of Licensing fees for Washington residents who have served in the military. It’s still waiting for a hearing and a vote by the Transportation Committee.

House Bill 2482 would reinstate semiconductor tax incentives. It has received a hearing and is waiting for a vote by the Finance Committee.

Additionally, two bills I introduced last session have been brought back and both are progressing.

House Bill 1655 would require contracts between insurance companies and providers to include an increase from the previous year based on the Consumer Price Index. We need to help our small medical providers, so we continue to have access to their valuable services. Click here to learn more.

House Bill 1113 is currently in the Senate waiting for a hearing after passing the House. This legislation would require the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) to adopt rules for reviewing and vacating reprimands issued to certificated professional educators that did not involve a student. I believe in redemption and educators with minor infractions should be given an opportunity to clear their record. Click here to learn more.

Please Reach Out and Stay in Touch

Although we are almost halfway through this session, it’s not too late to contact me. Your input helps me focus on your priorities, so please stay in touch by using the contact information below. I look forward to hearing from you.

It’s an honor to serve you.

Sincerely,


Paul Harris

State Representative Paul Harris, 17th Legislative District
RepresentativePaulHarris.com
426A Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
paul.harris@leg.wa.gov
(360) 786-7976 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000