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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I hope this email finds you well! This week, three of the six citizen-driven initiatives successfully passed both the House and Senate chambers and are now on their way to becoming state law. Initiatives before the Legislature do not require the governor’s approval and signature. I voted in favor of all three initiatives.

  • Initiative 2113. This important initiative will allow our police officers to use the reasonable suspicion standard to pursue and catch criminals. It passed the House by a vote of 77-20 and the Senate 36-13.
  • Initiative 2081. This initiative will create a Parents’ Bill of Rights that will increase transparency and ensure that public schools must share with parents any records relating to their children and instructional materials used in the classroom. It passed the House by a vote of 82-15 and the Senate 38-11.
  • Initiative 2111. This initiative will prohibit further efforts to impose a state and local personal income tax. With our state’s affordability crisis, this will protect people from any plans to impose personal income taxes at any level. It passed the House by a vote of 76-21 and the Senate 49-0.

It’s disappointing that Majority leadership declined to take action on the other three initiatives. I encourage you to do your homework on the initiatives that did not pass and will be on the November ballot.

These initiatives include:

  • Initiative 2117 aims to repeal the Climate Commitment Act (CCA) and its cap-and-trade program. Initiative opponents are providing false information that if the CCA fails, transportation funding for infrastructure and maintenance/preservation of our highway system will halt. This is not true. The CCA funding does not go toward roads or bridges. You, as taxpayers, already pay for these projects through the state’s gas tax.
  • Initiative 2109 aims to repeal the income tax on capital gains, a step toward a state income tax. Initiative opponents continue to resort to scare tactics, claiming that repealing the capital gains tax will roll back critical investments in our education system and schools. This is not true. Our state has plenty of revenue (our budget has doubled in the last decade). The income tax on capital gains is unnecessary, unpopular, and unstable.
  • Initiative 2124 aims to allow Washington workers to opt out of the mandatory and deeply flawed long-term care insurance program and payroll tax. This is another unfair tax that many of you currently pay and will never see the benefits of. It’s also an inadequate tax as the $36,500 benefit will not go far enough to cover most people’s long-term care needs.

Capital budget funding comes to the 16th District

The state’s 2024-25 supplemental capital budget was unanimously approved on Wednesday. This biennial construction, repair, and infrastructure plan appropriates $1.3 billion in funding.

Funding and projects for the 16th District include:

  • $1.5 million for the Columbia Valley Center for Recovery, on top of the $5 million allocated for it in 2023.
  • $2.55 million for the Lions Park Community Center.
  • $175,000 for the YWCA Walla Walla Childcare Center
  • $105,000 for the new Prosser Clubhouse.
  • $98,000 for resurfacing and revitalizing the Prescott public pool.
  • $100,000 for the new Waitsburg Childcare Center.
  • $1.13 million for College Place Fire Department energy-efficiency upgrades.
  • $4.6 million for fire protection and smoke dampers at the Washington State Penitentiary’s Intensive Management Unit.
  • $196,000 million for designing the Mill Creek fish passage from Colville Street to Third Avenue in Walla Walla.

House of Representatives Internship Program

Did you know the House of Representatives has an internship program?

As a way for interns to learn and engage in the legislative process, they participate in a mock committee hearing. My bill, House Bill 1915 on financial education, was chosen this year. It was great to strategize with them and prepare them for their first committee “hearing.”

Visitors to the Capitol

It was fun hosting Miss Tri-Cities and Miss Teen Tri-Cities at the Capitol.

If you have questions or thoughts about anything in the update or about your state government in general, please reach out to my office.

Thank you for the honor of allowing me to serve!

Sincerely,


Skyler Rude

State Representative Skyler Rude, 16th Legislative District
RepresentativeSkylerRude.com
122G Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
skyler.rude@leg.wa.gov
(360) 786-7828 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000