Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The 2024 legislative session is scheduled to convene on Jan.8 – that’s less than eight weeks away!
Like all regular sessions during even-numbered years in Washington state, we’ll only have 60 days to pass bills through both the House and Senate before adjournment.
To be most effective, we’ll need direct involvement from citizens like you. That’s why Senator Matt Boehnke, Representative Stephanie Barnard, and I will be hosting a citizen’s legislative workshop on Thursday, Dec. 7, at 7:00 p.m. at the Richland Public Library.
This will be a great opportunity to cover the ins and outs of the legislative process for both veterans and beginners alike.
You can RSVP on Facebook here. I look forward to seeing everyone there!
Sign up for Carbon Auction Rebate (CAR) updates
In September, I announced plans to introduce legislation for the upcoming session to return the excess carbon tax revenue back to registered Washington drivers.
Click here to sign up for CAR updates.
Under my Carbon Auction Rebate (CAR) proposal, registered vehicle owners in Washington would receive a $100 check – or up to $200 per family – beginning next July. The amount of the check would vary depending on how much the state has collected above what was forecasted to be collected in 2021, when the Climate Commitment Act (CCA) was enacted.
To date, the state has collected more than $1.5 billion in taxes. The real-world impact on gas prices has been about 50 additional cents per gallon, or the equivalent of the entire state gas tax. The result? Washington passed California for the state with the highest average gas prices in the nation for most of the summer.
There are those fighting to fully repeal the CCA and those defending the program. Regardless of what happens to the CCA, we need to decide what to do with the billions of dollars in new revenue currently sitting in state coffers. I believe the most straightforward, fair proposal would be to return this money to taxpayers – no strings attached.
Washington already has one of the most regressive tax structures in the nation. It’s time we provide families – many of whom have had to cut back on groceries, cancel family trips, and make other painful sacrifices – with real relief.
- Overview: The CAR program
- Sign up for updates to the CAR program
- Opinion: The carbon tax on gas is burdening WA families. How we can lighten the load
- News: Rep. April Connors proposes financial relief to WA drivers with CAR Payment program
- Background: How regressive Democratic policies increased Washington’s gas prices
House Page Program now accepting applications for the 2024 session
Applications for the Washington State House of Representatives Page Program are now open!
During the upcoming 2024 legislative session, eligible students from the ages 14 to 16, who have not yet reached their 17th birthday, are chosen from across the state to help legislators, including delivering documents and providing assistance in the chamber during floor sessions.
During their 40-hour work week of service, students also attend Legislative Page School and learn firsthand about the Legislature and the other branches of state government in action.
This is truly an amazing opportunity for young people to watch and participate in the actions of our state Legislature, and it has been going on each year since before Washington became a state in 1899. Not only do these students get to be on the House floor when we are in session, they also participate in ceremonial events, such as presentation of the flags. Plus, they get to meet other young people from all over the state. This can be a great educational and life-changing experience.
In the upcoming 2024 legislative session, House members can sponsor two pages. Applications opened on Wednesday, Nov. 1, and will close on Dec. 31. Eight different weekly opportunities are available for the 60-day legislative session, which begins Jan. 8 and ends on March 7. When applying, potential pages can select which weeks they are available to work. Pages earn a stipend of $65 per day and can also earn up to 20 hours of community service.
Since the page program is so popular, we expect openings for page positions to fill rather quickly. So, I encourage students to get their applications in as soon as possible.
Applications are available online at: app.leg.wa.gov/pageapplication
Applicants who need financial assistance for the expense of traveling and housing in Olympia may also apply for the Gina Grant Bull Memorial Legislative Page Scholarship, which helps to offset expenses. Applications for the scholarship can be found at: leg.wa.gov/PageSchool/pages/ginagrantbullscholarship.aspx
Please contact me with your questions, concerns, comments, or suggestions. Working together, we can make a meaningful difference here in the Mighty 8th and for our entire state.
It is an honor to serve you!