Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The 2022 legislative session began on Monday. Unfortunately, like last legislative session, this year will be largely remote – including House committee hearings held via Zoom. You can find the House COVID-19 2022 Session Operations Plan here.
You may have received my recent newsletter in your mailbox outlining some of the important issues we plan to address in the 60-day session. If not, you can view a digital version here.
As your legislator, I am working to reduce your tax burden, make our neighborhoods safer, and hold our government accountable. This accountability must start with Governor Inslee.
Emergency powers reform
Reforming the governor's emergency powers continues to be a top priority. As a co-sponsor of House Bill 1772, I believe it's critical that the Legislature – the branch closest to the people – make the decisions that are best for Washington State. Washington is one of only four states in the nation that delegates unilateral authority to the governor to declare and maintain a state of emergency. We're reaching the two-year anniversary of the governor's emergency declaration. It's time to return to regular order.
You can watch my interview with KAPP/KVEW TV on reforming the governor's emergency powers here.
Stopping the spread of a state income tax
This week, I introduced House Bill 1912 to repeal the state's new capital gains income tax that went into effect on January 1, 2022.
Last November, 61% percent of Washington voters said we should repeal this tax. Washingtonians have also told us several times over the years they do not want any form of a state income tax. We need to listen. If we don't repeal this now, every working Washingtonian could eventually face a state income tax. New tax schemes like this one only grow in scope and reach once established.
With help from the public, I am hopeful that we can make real progress on tax issues. Legislators must understand the financial and inflationary burdens facing families and respond accordingly. With a large projected budget surplus, tax relief is both needed and possible this year. This could be done through a $30 car tabs rebate and property tax relief.
How you can be involved
Though this legislative session will be largely remote, there are several ways for you to be involved and influence the legislative process. The Legislature has created a simple guide for staying involved that can be found here: Accessing the Legislature Remotely. It contains information about the legislative process, watching and participating in committee hearings, tracking legislation, and contacting your legislators.
Here are some other helpful links:
- Testify remotely
- How you can be involved in the legislative process
- How to comment on a bill
- Washington State Legislature
- Committee schedules, agendas, and documents
- The Ledger | A legislative news aggregator
My contact information
I also welcome you to contact me if you have an idea to share or if I can ever be of assistance.
- My website
- Contact page
- Phone: (509) 593-4559
- Email: Jeremie.Dufault@leg.wa.gov
- Legislative Hotline: 1-800-562-6000
As the legislative session moves forward, I will provide you with more email updates. It is an honor to serve you.