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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I hope this email finds you well! We are nearing the final stretch of the 2024 legislative session, with just two weeks remaining.

I want to take a little time to update you on the six citizen-driven initiatives. Recently, legislative Democrat leaders announced that public hearings will be held for three of the six initiatives. This decision comes on the heels of the persistent efforts made by House Republicans to let your voice be heard to fix six failures our communities and state continue to battle.

Here are the three initiatives that will receive a public hearing next week.

Your voice, opinion, and thoughts are still crucial for the success of these three initiatives. Please consider testifying either in person or by submitting written testimony online.

Find information on how to sign up to testify, submit written testimony, or note your support or opposition by visiting the links below.

I-2111 | Prohibit state and local personal income tax
Senate Committee on Ways and Means

I-2081 | Establish Parents’ Bill of Rights
Senate Committee on Early Learning and K-12 Education

I-2113 | Restore vehicular pursuits
Senate Committee on Law and Justice

Please be aware that speaking slots will be limited during each hearing due to the constrained duration. If you opt to testify in person, please understand that only a select number of individuals will have the chance to address the committee.

Thank you for staying involved and engaged in the legislative process!

What happens after the initiatives are heard?

All three initiatives are slated for committee voting on Friday, March 1. Following this, it will be the discretion of the Democrats to advance them for a full House floor vote. Approval by the Legislature would bypass the need for them to appear on the November ballot, also bypassing the approval of the governor, ensuring their enactment.

It’s disappointing these three initiatives won’t receive a public hearing and will head straight to the ballot in November.

It’s budget time | 2024 House-proposed supplemental transportation budget

As an assistant ranking member on the House Transportation Committee, I have been working hard alongside my legislative transportation colleagues, crafting the bipartisan 2024 House-proposed supplemental transportation budget.

One highlight of this budget I’m proud of is our efforts to improve public safety by providing funding for the recruitment and retention of our Washington State Patrol troopers. WSP is operating at historic lows while traffic fatalities on our roadways reach record highs. I’m grateful this supplemental budget is working to address this critical issue.

I would also like to dispel some false information that’s floating around about the Climate Commitment Act (CCA) monies as they pertain to the transportation budget and what won’t happen if the CCA is repealed through Initiative 2117.

The rumor is that if the CCA money is repealed, the maintenance and preservation projects for bridges and roadways will come to a grinding halt. This is inaccurate information. The funding for these projects does not come from the CCA, but from a different bucket of money, you already pay through the state’s gas tax.

I will be supporting this bipartisan budget.

2024 House-proposed supplemental operating budget

The House of Representatives is also expected to pass its proposed supplemental operating budget this weekend. As you can see in the chart below, Democrats continues the trend of historic, unsustainable spending. This proposed budget increases spending to $72 billion, a $2.2 billion, or 3%, increase over current 2023-25 spending. Overall, state spending has more than doubled over the past 10 years.

Statistics show that Washington state ranks as one of the least affordable states in the country. We’re the third highest for gas prices, fourth highest for grocery prices, and fourth highest for housing costs. It’s unfortunate that while the state is flush with cash, this proposal does not provide any real relief for those who need it the most.

I do not anticipate supporting this budget.

Please don’t hesitate to contact my office with any questions, concerns, or ideas regarding your state government or any topics in this e-newsletter. You can find my contact information at the bottom of this email.

It’s an honor to serve you.

In your service,

Eric Robertson

State Representative Eric Robertson, 31st Legislative District
465 John L. O’Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7866 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000