Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The Legislature is in its third week and we are seeing bills, bills, and more bills. As of Tuesday, the House has introduced 761 bills and the Senate 743.
In this update I will give you an overview of some of the pieces of legislation I am working on, and touch on some other bills of interest.
Highly capable students and prohibiting a local income tax
I am working on a number of bills this session. Here is a brief overview of a couple of them I recently introduced.
Highly capable students, House Bill 1641– My goal with this legislation is to ensure that each student is getting the education they deserve. Education is not one size fits all, and that is true for kids at all education levels. By relying on a screening system rather than a referral system fewer students will fall through the cracks and they can get the education they deserve. This not only benefits our highly capable students but the future of our state's workforce.
I am familiar with the highly capable student programs. I was in a version of the capable student program from the third to the eighth-grade. I want to make sure students have the same opportunities I did in school.
Prohibiting a local income tax, House Bill 1588 – Once again I have introduced legislation that would prevent local governments from implementing a local income tax. Some cities continue to try and work around the state statute despite it being clear to most of us: “a county, city, or city-county shall not levy a tax on net income.” My bill will tighten the language and prevent local governments from taxing individual or household personal income whether it is net, gross, or adjusted gross income, capital gains income or other type of income. For an overview of our fight to prevent new taxes on income, click here.
Damaging proposals to small business
House Bill 1515, Senate Bill 5513, Senate Bill 5326 – Assault on independent contractors. You may have seen something in the news on these bills. Over 1,000 hair dressers and stylists signed in to testify against these proposals on Monday. They feared the legislation would do away with booth rental agreements, forcing them to go to work for bigger employers rather than themselves. The hair dressers and stylists are entrepreneurs, many of whom are women and mothers who are pursuing their dreams, and enjoy the flexibility in setting their own schedules and maximizing their income.
While the subject matter appears to be narrow in scope, the consequences of this legislation could negatively impact all independent contractors or the self-employed such as home care workers, the hospitality industry, custodial services, delivery workers, contractors, subcontractors and many other occupations. I will continue to advocate for the rights of Washingtonians to work for themselves and determine what is best for their own lives and families.
Other bills of interest
This week is filled with public hearings on bills that may be of interest to you. Here is brief list. For those of you interested in testifying on any of the bills. Click: How to testify in committee.
Seniors' property taxes – House Bills 1044, 1181, 1090, 1320. Public hearing was held today (Tuesday) in the House Finance Committee.
Conceal pistol license training – House 1315. Public hearing was held today (Tuesday) in the Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee.
Opioid prevention and treatment omnibus – House Bill 1331. Public hearing today in the House Health Care and Wellness Committee.
Expanding the B&O manufacturing tax credit – House Bill 1348. Public hearing scheduled for Wednesday in the House Rural Development, Agriculture and Natural Resource Committee.
Lead ammunition and young adults – House Bill 1346. Public hearing scheduled for Friday in the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee.
Local government firearm regulations – House Bill 1319. Public hearing scheduled for Friday in the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee.
Please let me know if you have any questions about the bills listed in this update or any other legislation we are working on in Olympia. I appreciate your input and feedback.