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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

As we pass the midpoint of our 60-day legislative session, Olympia is abuzz with activity. But before diving into the details of what’s happening in Olympia, I must share an important event announcement: my seatmate Rep. Keith Goehner and I will host a 12th District Virtual Town Hall on Monday, Feb. 19, at 6:30 p.m.

This engaging event will be conducted via Zoom. I urge you to register early, as space is limited. And be sure not to miss the opportunity to submit your questions in advance regarding bills and debates unfolding in Olympia when you register.

Legislative deadlines

We’ve recently reached a couple of significant deadlines. On Monday, February 5th, we reached the house of origin fiscal committee cutoff, an important milestone. This marks the final opportunity for budget-related bills to be decided upon in committee.

What do these deadlines mean for us? They serve as important markers along our legislative journey. Our next deadline is Tuesday, February 13th, which marks the last chance for bills to gain approval in the chamber where they originated — known as the house of origin cutoff.

Over the next few days, lawmakers will be diligently deliberating and voting on bills in their respective chambers. This is because for bills to proceed, they must first pass out of the chamber where they were introduced, or they will be considered “dead” for the remainder of the session.

Stay tuned for my next update, where I’ll discuss the bills that successfully met these deadlines and what’s next in our legislative process.

Empowering communities: House Bill 2306 gains momentum

I’m thrilled to share that House Bill 2306, enabling main street programs to use their remaining tax credits, garnered significant support from the Finance Committee. It has now advanced to the Rules Committee, where it awaits scheduling for further deliberations and a vote by the chamber.

The Main Street Tax Credit Incentive Program, overseen by the Department of Revenue (DOR), offers an outstanding opportunity for individuals to contribute to local programs or the state Main Street Trust Fund Account while enjoying tax benefits. Contributors can claim either a B&O tax credit or a public utility tax credit if their contributions are made within the same calendar year of approval. The credit covers 75% of the approved contribution to the Program or 50% to the Main Street Trust Fund Account.

My bill allows a main street program to use their remaining Main Street Tax Credits, up to a cap of $250,000 per program starting Oct. 1 of each calendar year. Operating on a first-come, first-serve basis ensures fairness, empowering local initiatives to flourish while maximizing their potential impact. If approved, this bill will provide communities across the state with even greater support for their growth and revitalization efforts.

Initiative update

In Olympia, the focus continues to be on the six citizen-driven initiatives, all officially certified by the Secretary of State and submitted to the Legislature. Unfortunately, despite the constitutional mandate in Article II, Section 1(a) of our state constitution, which prioritizes such initiatives in the legislative process, the majority party has yet to schedule public hearings for any of these proposals.

  • I-2113 would restore vehicular pursuit tools to law enforcement.
  • I-2117 would repeal the state’s cap-and-trade program.
  • I-2081 would establish a parents’ bill of rights.
  • I-2111 would codify Washington state’s longstanding tradition of prohibiting state and local personal income taxes.
  • I-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.
  • I-2124 enables working individuals to choose not to participate in the Washington Cares Fund, a long-term care (LTC) payroll tax program.

This week, our ranking and assistant ranking members reached out to chairs and vice chairs with letters urging them to hold public hearings for the six initiatives. You can access these letters, along with nearly everything we’ve done so far regarding the initiatives — such as motion speeches, gallery videos, statements, and more — in the news articles linked below.

Visitors

Just a friendly reminder: if you’re ever in Olympia, please don’t hesitate to visit my office. I always welcome visitors and genuinely value the chance to hear your thoughts and concerns directly. You can find my office location and contact information by clicking here.

I recently had the pleasure of hosting a variety of visitors, including representatives from Washington Career and Technical Sports Medicine and Ballard Ambulance and Emergency Services, as showcased in the photo collage below.

Keep engaged and informed!

To stay informed about the latest happenings in Olympia, you have a few options: You can explore The Ledger, a news aggregator, or subscribe to The Week Ahead, which provides a detailed list of bill hearings for the upcoming week. These resources provide valuable insights into the ongoing policy debates. For those looking to stay ahead of the curve, you can also visit my legislative website for direct updates from the state Capitol.

Thank you!

Never hesitate to reach out to my office! You’ll find my contact details listed below. I’m always eager to hear from you and value your input. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for more updates in the weeks ahead. Your ongoing support means the world to me. Together, we’re making a positive impact on the 12th District and Washington state’s future.

In your service,

Sincerely,


Mike Steele

State Representative Mike Steele, 12th Legislative District
RepresentativeMikeSteele.com
335A Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
mike.steele@leg.wa.gov
(360) 786-7832 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000