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Dear Friends and Neighbors:

As we reach day 48 of the 60-day legislative session, I’m delighted to bring you some good news. The majority party has scheduled public hearings for three out of the six citizen-driven initiatives.

While this is indeed a step in the right direction, I must admit disappointment that not all initiatives will receive the attention they deserve. Nonetheless, I urge you to engage in discussions concerning the three initiatives that will be heard.

The public hearings are scheduled

  • I-2081: A parental bill of rights will have a public hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 8 – 9 a.m. Comment on this initiative.
  • I-2111: Prohibiting state and local income taxes will have a public hearing on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Comment on this initiative.
  • I-2113: Restoring vehicular police pursuits will have a public hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 9 – 10 a.m. Comment on this initiative.

Whether you voice your views in writing or attend in person, your contribution will enhance the dialogue and shape the outcome. Providing written testimony ensures that your opinion is documented and considered. But speaking in person can also be a great way to make sure your voice is heard on these initiatives.

  • For information on how to testify in person or online, click here.
  • Learn more about the initiatives.

What’s next?


What happens next?

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

The bad news is that the majority party has decided not to grant hearings for the remaining three initiatives. With two weeks remaining in the session, I remain steadfast in advocating for hearings on all six. I will persist in our fight to ensure that every proposal receives fair consideration and the opportunity to be heard.

Here are the initiatives that did not get hearing dates:

What’s on the agenda for the remainder of the session?

The last few days of the session will be dedicated to deliberation, discussion, and decision-making on the state’s three budgets: the operating, transportation, and capital budgets. During this year’s 60-day session, lawmakers will adjust these spending plans, referred to as “supplemental budgets.” Typically, a supplemental budget makes mid-course corrections to the two-year spending plans, accounting for changes that have occurred since adopting the budgets the previous year.

The majority party recently unveiled their proposals for supplemental spending. Encouragingly, there are no new proposed taxes. However, the new supplemental operating budget proposal, House Bill 2104, would increase spending to $72 billion, marking a $2.2 billion rise over the budget passed last year for 2023-25.

I am concerned about the substantial increase in state spending over the past decade, especially considering that many Washington families have not experienced a doubling of their household budgets during the same period.

Furthermore, with a significant influx in revenue expected — nearly $3.3 billion in additional tax dollars estimated to be collected over the next four years — it seems prudent to consider giving some of that surplus back to taxpayers, particularly those facing challenges due to the high costs of essentials like food, gasoline, and housing. Regrettably, this operating budget prioritizes government programs over providing tax relief.

Stay tuned for my next update!

In the coming days, I’ll provide detailed information about the other two budgets: transportation and capital. What distinguishes the capital budget in Olympia is its bipartisan character.

Collaborating closely with the chair and fellow committee members, we’ve crafted a supplemental capital budget plan that supports communities, bolsters the economy, and makes smart investments for our state’s future. In my next update, I’ll discuss projects in the 12th District focused on enhancing our communities and infrastructure.

Thank you!

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions or if there’s anything I can do to assist you with state government. Your commitment to our communities is deeply appreciated, and I thank you for working alongside me as we strive to make a difference in Olympia.

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