All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.

Friday, November 29, 2013

The clear case of government bullying

Freedom and democracy can't be just about elections -- there is too much time between election to ignore serious abuse.   Out of control, bullying tactics have come to Washington State.  The state and local governments are using those tactics to badger and ruin individual people.  What follows is one example.

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Captain Dave Petrich built his dream business--the Farm Boat--to bring local, organic produce to Washington residents. That all changed when the City of Seattle came after Dave to collect $8,000 in parking fines incurred by someone else.

The city's aggressive legal tactics shut down the Farm Boat. Dave found himself fighting City Hall alone.

In late September, Freedom Foundation intern Conner Edwards learned of Dave's battle with Seattle. Conner led the Freedom Foundation's charge to help Dave recover his business and document one more story of out-of-control government. We told Dave's story and got the word out about the City's unreasonable actions.

With the Freedom Foundation's help and the power of a story made public, the City-in a rare move-dropped its pursuit of Captain Dave Petrich and the Farm Boat.



Victories like this one are encouraging. They show the power of a story, both to secure victory for one man and one business and to make two key point: unlimited government hurts people and we can fight city hall ... and win!


"... Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights." Washington State Constitution

The video is produced by the Evergreen Freedom Foundation

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Student's Self-Defense Leads to University Disciplinary Action

The story comes from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington -- two students living in an off-campus, university-owned apartment were put on probation for the "infraction" of displaying a legally-owned firearm to thwart a home invasion by a convicted felon.

According to a CNN article, on the night of October 24, students Erik Fagan and Daniel McIntosh were in their apartment when there was a knock on the door.  Fagan told CNN affiliate KXLY in Spokane that he opened the door and a stranger, who said he'd just gotten out of jail, asked for $15.  Fagan told KXLY he offered the man a blanket and a can of food, but "didn't feel comfortable" giving the man money because he was a stranger. 

"My gut instinct was telling me I wasn't going to be able to get that door closed before he came through," Fagan said.

As the man started coming through the door, Fagan said he yelled for his roommate, McIntosh.  McIntosh said he came to the door holding his pistol.  When the man saw the gun, the students say he turned and ran away.

The story notes that all university housing is patrolled at regular intervals by campus security, but this particular apartment complex isn't gated, and secured key cards or codes are not required for entrance.

The students called 911 and campus security.  A short time later, police captured the suspect, whom they identified as a six-time convicted felon with an outstanding Department of Corrections warrant.

If the story ended here, we'd have yet another example of how a firearm was successfully used for self-defense against a dangerous criminal without the firing of a shot.  But the story continues.

Unbeknownst to Fagin and McIntosh at the time, having a firearm on university-owned property, is a violation of Gonzaga policy, whether or not that property is located on campus.  At 2:00 a.m. the next morning, campus security officers returned to the students' apartment and confiscated the pistol and a shotgun from the apartment.  The shotgun is owned by Fagan, who uses it to hunt and for sport shooting, and it was not used in the incident.  The pistol belongs to McIntosh, who has a concealed carry permit.  It was a gift to him from his grandfather.

Based on their act of self-preservation, the two students were placed on probation for the rest of their time at Gonzaga.  The penalty will also be a part of their permanent record.  The students are appealing the decision.

After quickly gaining national infamy for its actions, the university has agreed to review its policy and has returned the firearms to the two students but with the stipulation that they not be stored at any property owned or operated by the university.  In other words, Fagan and McIntosh, and all other students living in University property, remain unarmed in their own residences, a fact that will likely not escape notice of the local criminal element.

Gonzaga University reacted to the victimization of its own students on University property by punishing and disarming them. That is outrageous.

Posted at the NRA 

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Gun rights -- There is too much fear and too little understanding of how gun rights are not only a matter of self-defense, collecting, hunting and target competitions--but, also a barometer of how well our other rights are protected.

Somebody ought to tell Gonzaga they can lose everything in a massive class action lawsuit if they continue to deny their student body the constitutional right to armed self-defense.

"The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired... ." Washington State Constitution Article 1, Section 24

Monday, November 4, 2013

Inslee seeks carbon tax

"We need smart new policies that encourage the use of clean energy, and technologies like carbon capture, to balance our need for energy with the need to protect the environment.  What we don’t need are ideologues insisting that using taxes and regulations to purposefully drive up the cost of energy is the only way to address these issues.

"Yet, that is essentially what Governor Inslee and his Democratic colleagues from Oregon and California said last week when they signed another version of the West Coast climate initiative.  In this pact, the three Governors – and Premier of British Columbia – pledged to raise the cost of energy by enacting cap and trade, or by simply imposing a new “carbon tax.”  Governor Inslee made it clear earlier that he intends to pursue a cap and trade strategy."

from Could cap and trade be coming to Washington State? posted at Smarter Government  


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Even though the tone of the Smart Government article is to question Inslee's proposed policy changes, the whole notion of anthropogenic carbon use climate change is not well supported by genuine scientists. 

The whole cap-and-trade initiative assumes that any "global warming" is anthropogenic.  The hard science seems to indicate that "global warming" is unreal, and therefore any discussion about the human cause is futile.  

But this doesn't stop the big government crowd, who changed the name of their imaginary to "climate change."  The climate has been changing since long before humans arrived in earth, so climate change should not initiate any alarm either.

The genuine appeal of climate change, or whatever, is it will give the big government people more excuse to oppress the people with big government.  Also it furnishes a ready justification to increase taxation so the government officials can be better supported in their gold plated jobs.

Legislative Update

In my last e-mail update I talked about the transportation forums being held around the state by the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus. The forums have concluded and while I was able to attend the one in Wenatchee, I am still interested in hearing your comments and opinion about the proposed transportation tax revenue plan. Please consider taking this short transportation survey and forward to anyone you feel would be interested in taking the survey.

No decisions have been made, so it is still important to me and many other legislators to receive your input. If there is going to be a large gas-tax hike on the table, I want to make sure people have had the opportunity to share their opinions.

No one questions the importance of our transportation infrastructure, but to ensure strong bipartisan support and guarantee all voices are being heard on this issue, we need to make sure a revenue package discussion begins with reforms. It is essential we see some accountability and responsible use of gas tax dollars in our transportation system before taxpayers are asked to pay more.

The reforms need to be first in the transportation debate and not an afterthought. If reforms don’t happen first, those of us in Olympia are all too familiar with what will happen – they will get ignored. These are not just feel-good proposed reforms to be used as negotiating tools. They are important to restore the public’s trust after many botched transportation construction projects:
  • SR 520 pontoon design failure – $84 million and counting (initially $71 million); 
  • SR 520 tolling delay — $40 million in forgone tolls and $12 million not collected in legal damages for the breach of the contract;
  • Columbia River Crossing design — $172 as of March 2013;
  • Three years ago, WSDOT built a ramp in the wrong place at the I-5 and SR 16 interchange in Tacoma and had to tear it down — cost to taxpayers $900,000;
  • The history of the Chetzemoka Ferry — went into service three months late (November 2010) and $15 million over the estimated cost of construction. One of the smallest ferries in the state’s fleet, yet pound for pound it’s the most expensive ferry ever built anywhere at $80.1 million. Ferry engineers who work on board the vessels have been vocal about the boat’s list, fuel consumption and vibration problems. It has been out of service a number of times for repairs related to these issues.
When citizens of Washington are footing the bill for these errors, I do not think it is too much to ask for some accountability and transparency in our transportation system. In fact, we should not ask for one extra dime until we are sure these items are fixed and we have addressed some of the mistakes made in the past. With reforms in place, we may find out tax increases and more funds are not needed if our current transportation dollars are spent efficiently.
Here is a brief summary of some of the transportation reforms that should be under consideration:
  • Require the Washington State Department of Transportation to report costly errors to the Legislature and put forward solutions to avoid making the same mistake twice;
  • Return sales tax from transportation construction to the transportation budget;
  • Implement state auditor’s recommendations to reform the Ferry Capital Program;
  • Open a dialogue about prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements;
  • Streamline environmental permitting;
  • Add congestion relief to the state’s required list of transportation priorities;
  • Use of Public-Private Partnerships; and
  • Reform the state’s regional transit authority boards.
Please let me know if you have any questions. This is may be the biggest issue we face in the upcoming session, if not sooner, and your feedback is important. Again, I hope you will fill out the survey and share your comments and concerns. I will share the results of the survey in the near future.
Sincerely,
Cary Condotta

Monday, September 30, 2013

Ballot 2013

Initiatives

Initiative Measure No. 517 concerns initiative and referendum measures.  If enacted I-517 would have three related results.

First, I-517 would make it illegal to interfere or retaliate against  signature-gatherers and/or petition-signers.  There have been cases recently where thugs have intimidated petitioners.    Second, it will require that all measures receiving sufficient signatures appear on the ballot.  This is primarily to prevent the use of the courts to rule the people cannot vote.   Lastly,  petition drives would have more time to gather initiative petition signatures.

I-517 safeguards the petition process.  Thus it will help to promote a healthy democracy in Washington State.  Impolite recommends you vote Yes on I-517.



Initiative Measure No. 522:  "Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Engineered Food" measure. 522 started out as an initiative to the legislature, calling on the legislature to enact some new content regulations for food labeling.  The legislature referred the matter back to the people so we get to vote.


Everybody wants to know what they are eating, naturally.  Reasonable requirements for food labeling can include a list of modified ingredients.  But many people are frightened they are eating unhealthy, totally artificial food.  Fear is the mind killer.  People should eat more right to be healthy.

You are not a carrot or a corn plant - those are genetically different from most voters.   Why don't people think about the fact that when they eat something, it is a totally different genetically?  Your digestive system is designed to break down products of foreign genetics into stuff your body can use.

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"Taking a purely empirical view, labeling of genetically modified organisms provides little useful consumer health or safety information. GE products currently in the marketplace have proven safe in foods and animal feeds through use and testing. Environmentally, these products can have a good record of improvement over conventional production methods while maintaining the high yields and profits necessary for farmers.  These facts have been repeatedly demonstrated in the peer reviewed scientific literature... ."  Source

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Nonetheless, the I-522 campaign is cheap politics.

An ad for 522 claims initiatives opponents are supported by dark and sinister corporations, therefore they are lying.  The I-522 campaign says there will be no increase in cost.  The state says the cost of I-522 will be "non-zero but indeterminate cost and/or savings" according to the Office of Fiscal Management's fiscal note.  Even though  the cost is unknown, that is not the same as no cost at all.  The I-522 campaign is lying

The I-522 tells you I-522 opponents are supported by 'corporations' (cue spooky music).  The I-522 campaign won't tell you they get most of their support from "organic" foods corporations.  Organic foods companies to sell unprocessed or less-processed foods, unpasteurized milk products, and soybean curd.  Organic food is a huge profit maker.

I-522 labeling requirement are focused at processed foods.  You can see this is mainly a way for the "organic" foods people to lash out at processed foods companies -- so the "organic" corporations can grab more profit.  Most of the money for 522 is coming in from out of state

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I-522 is half-baked.  Too bad the legislature didn't do their jobs and write some sensible law when they had the chance (Maybe that is too much to hope).   Impolite recommends a no vote on I-522. 

Eat your vegetables.  Watch your weight.  Be healthy.



Advisory Votes

Advisory votes are non-binding. The results will not change the law.  These makes the matter seem trivial to most people so it drops off the radar.  Despite the fact that the vote is advisory, it is important to be informed about the legislature's activities.

There are five new tax questions:

SSB 5444, titled AN ACT Relating to administration of taxes regarding publicly owned property, was passed by the House of Representatives. The Office of Financial Management has identified this bill as requiring a ten-year projection of increased cost to the taxpayers or affected feepayers.

Ten-year projection:

Fiscal
Year

     Leasehold
     Excise Tax

2014

$ 145,000
2015

167,000
2016

175,000
2017

183,000
2018

194,000
2019

202,000
2020

210,000
2021

218,000
2022

227,000
2023

235,000

Total:

     $ 1,956,000

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SB 5627, titled AN ACT Relating to the taxation of commuter air carriers, has been passed by the House of Representatives. The Office of Financial Management has identified this bill as requiring a ten-year projection of increased cost to the taxpayers or affected feepayers.

Ten-year projection:

Fiscal
Year

   Aircraft Excise Tax

2014

$  35,000
2015

35,000
2016

38,000
2017

38,000
2018

41,000
2019

41,000
2020

44,000
2021

44,000
2022

47,000
2023

47,000

Total:

$ 410,000

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The House of Representatives has concurred with ESHB 1846 AMS WM S2534.1 as amended by the Senate, titled AN ACT Relating to stand-alone dental coverage, and has passed the bill final passage. The Office of Financial Management has identified this bill as requiring a ten-year projection of increased cost to the taxpayers or affected feepayers.

Ten-year projection:

Section 3(6)(c) of this bill removes the exemption for pediatric oral services offered as essential health benefits outside the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. Since these services have previously been exempted, this will result in additional revenue for the insurance premium tax. However, the amount of taxable activity resulting from pediatric oral health care services benefits cannot be estimated. Consequently, the amount of additional revenue attributed to pediatric oral services offered as essential health benefits outside the Health Benefit Exchange is indeterminate.
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2E2SHB 1971, titled AN ACT Relating to communications services reform, was passed by the Senate in the 2013 2nd Special Session. The Office of Financial Management has identified this bill as requiring a ten-year projection of increased cost to the taxpayers or affected feepayers.

Ten-year projection:
Fiscal
Year

   Retail Sales Tax

2014

$  36,258,000
2015

12,875,000
2016

43,470,000
2017

43,470,000
2018

43,470,000
2019

43,470,000
2020

43,470,000
2021

43,470,000
2022

43,470,000
2023

43,470,000

Total:

$ 396,893,000
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EHB 2075, titled AN ACT Relating to preserving funding deposited into the education legacy trust account used to support common schools and access to higher education by restoring the application of the Washington estate and transfer tax to certain property transfers while modifying the estate and transfer tax to provide tax relief for certain estates, has been passed by the Senate in the 2013 2nd Special Session. The Office of Financial Management has identified this bill as requiring a ten-year projection of increased cost to the taxpayers or affected feepayers.

Ten-year projection:
Fiscal
Year

    Estate Tax

2014

$ 109,700,000
2015

39,300,000
2016

39,300,000
2017

35,300,000
2018

34,400,000
2019

40,000,000
2020

42,300,000
2021

44,300,000
2022

46,100,000
2023

47,700,000

Total:

   $ 478,400,000

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That's a total of $877,659,000 in new taxes.

You can verify this information at the ballot info listserve




Election results will be posted here after the election.

New Seattle ordinance bars criminal background checks

On November 1, 2013, Seattle’s new “ban the box” ordinance will limit an employer’s ability to ask about an applicant’s criminal background.  This law affects all job applicants, independent contractors and employees who perform 50% of their services within the Seattle city limits.  Specifically during the initial screening process you are unable to ask about a potential employees criminal background and/or perform a criminal background check.

Those that are not in compliance with the ordinance can face fines between $750 to $1,000 per offense, plus attorney fees.

For more information on this ordinance and things that you need to do to be in compliance, please click on the following link:
http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=a30ffb0b-8a77-4392-a0d5-855313961503

Mark Gjurasic

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Thugs disrupt labor freedom meeting.

The Freedom Foundation sponsored an event last Thursday in Vancouver, WA.  A number of thugs showed up to disrupt the meeting. The disruptors worked for their union bosses, trying to promote pro-fascist control of union labor. (Fascism is a control method used to control individuals by expansion of top-down control.  The union bosses fit this model perfectly.)

At least two anti-workers rights (blindly pro-union) protesters were arrested.  The protesters got in the way of those trying to park outside.  Inside, the protesters refused to debate and instead screamed at event attenders and carried on like cranky children.



The event featured Vinnie Vernuccio, a labor policy expert from Michigan’s Mackinac Center for Public Policy.  Vernuccio discussed state labor reforms that empower workers to decide whether or not they wish to participate in and support unions.

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When workers want to unionize, that is their right. Workers lose their right to unionize if they are forced into a union that does not represent their view. Forced union membership or dues paying only serves the union bosses, not the individual worker.

Friday, July 19, 2013

#2 Special Session wrap.

by Cary Condotta

After 153 days in session, the Legislature finally adjourned on Saturday, June 29.

Some will tell you we averted a government shutdown. However, that was all posturing.   I never really felt or believed there would be a forced shutdown of our state government or any services. Government shutdowns happen because of emergencies or severe budget crisis. Our budget situation was not a crisis.

We had approximately $2.5 billion more in state tax revenue coming in for this biennial budget than we did for the last budget cycle – roughly a 7 percent increase.

It is important to keep that in mind because part of the reason it took almost six months to reach a budget agreement was due to the House majority’s and governor’s insistence on new and increased taxes. In fact, at one time they were proposing more than $1 billion in tax increases. In the end, we ended up with somewhat of a good, the bad and the ugly budget agreement.

Operating Budget
The Good

I voted in favor of the operating budget. It reflected a lot of hard work and long negotiations by members of both chambers and parties. Our leadership was at the negotiating table throughout the process and played the role of facilitator and was vital in helping bring together the two sides.

The spending plan also invests heavily in education dedicating more than $1 billion in K-12 to get us on track to meeting our education funding goals mandated by the Washington State Supreme Court’s McCleary decision. The total education budget for the 2013-15 biennium is $15.1 billion up from the $13.6 billion in the last biennium. There are $31.1 million in policy enhancements and the $1 billion for McCleary includes monies for class-size reduction, full-day kindergarten beginning with at-risk student populations, the Learning Assistance Program and much more.

Higher education also benefited – for the first time in nearly three decades the budget does not include tuition increases. The budget leaves more money in reserves than past budgets with $630 million including $577 million in the state’s protected rainy day fund.

Finally, it does not include the nearly $1 billion in tax increases originally proposed by House Democrats. And it expires more than $600 million in taxes, including those against businesses. Our caucus fought hard to make sure their proposed tax package was taken off the budget negotiating table.

The Bad

Like any compromise, there are some elements to the spending plan I do not support and have some serious concerns. The operating budget:
  • takes money out of the state Public Works Trust Fund – the account our local governments rely on for infrastructure and construction projects.
  • does not include any of the workers’ compensation reforms we proposed that protect workers and employers, while helping our small businesses aiding the economic recovery and our state’s bottom line. The proposed reforms would have no benefit loss with over $1 billion in savings. We had hoped to stabilize some of the highest workers compensation rates in the nation.
  • does not fund the teacher’s COLA and once again it is suspended.
  • relies on funding from federal government with the expansion of Medicaid. This raises red flags given the massive debt and spending problems at the federal level.
  • continues the implementation of Obamacare and expands Medicaid, based on very expensive promises from an insolvent federal government. There are reports Washington state could see private pay premiums increase anywhere from 34 to 80 percent. Read the Forbes article: Even In Over-Regulated Washington State, Obamacare Will Increase Individual Health Insurance Premiums By 34-80 percent.
These are issues that need to be addressed in the next session or very near future.

The Ugly

Despite the compromised, bipartisan operating and capital budgets passage, there are a number of issues that could fit in the “ugly” category from this session.

House Bill 2075, or the Bracken Bill is about as ugly as it gets [No fooling -- The Democrats insist 2075 is an education bill]. This legislation passed mostly on party lines with House Democrats supporting it.

2075 reinstates the estate tax on married couples’ assets and does so with a retroactivity clause. That means families, who have deceased family members, will have to pay millions in taxes to the state Department of Revenue. The most significant point is this measure changes the rules retroactively so the state does not have to provide refunds to those taxpayers who followed the rules that were upheld by the Washington State Supreme Court. Not only does this set a dangerous precedent, but I believe it is unconstitutional and will be struck down by the same court that upheld the law.

The special sessions themselves were frustrating and certainly ugly. Legislators were called back to Olympia at times for just a couple hours a day and one or two votes. There are going to be hard-nosed stances when you have each party controlling a different chamber. However, we owe it to the taxpayers of Washington to get our work done in a timely manner and negotiate more efficiently. A part-time legislature should not need to spend nearly six months in Olympia negotiation a budget at taxpayer expense. A full-time legislature is not the answer. You need only to look to California to see how that is working for them. Most would probably agree, the longer the Legislature is in session the more damage that could be done.

Real government reforms are still lacking. With the Senate Majority Coalition controlling their chamber I had high hopes. They did a great job of holding together and were able to get a lot out their majority position. Unfortunately, with the uptick in revenue, the House Democrats ended up dropping their push for increased tax revenues, so the Senate was unable to negotiate major reforms as part of the compromise. There were some small reform pieces passed at the last minute, such as a one-stop shop business portal and a review of regulatory rules for manufacturers, but this session has a ‘business as usual’ feel to it when it comes to the way our state agencies operate – and that is a culture we must change.

Transportation tax revenue package

During the second special session, House Democrats led an effort to increase the state’s portion of the gas tax by 10.5 cents over the next 13 months. Combined with the 37.5 cents-per-gallon already collected, Washington drivers would pay 48 cents to the state in gas taxes for each gallon of gas purchased, making it one of the highest in the nation.

Please read the statement "House Republicans on state transportation system: Fix it before you fund it" issued by my colleagues earlier this session. It references a handful of reforms that would begin to ensure that we are getting the biggest bang for our buck in the transportation system.

We have seen a number of issues with the 520-Bridge project -- permit issuance taking much longer than it should, and there is no reason the state should be paying itself sales tax on its own projects.

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The State's Budget page link

Additional operating approporiations

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New Washington State drunk driving law - raw information

E2SSB 5912, titled AN ACT Relating to driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs, was passed by the Senate in the 2013 2nd Special Session.

"This bill adds a requirement that a person with a prior offense as defined in RCW 46.61.5055 "Alcohol and Drug Violators" and charged with or arrested for a violation of RCW 46.61.502 "Driving under the influence", RCW 46.61.504 "Physical control of a vehicle under the influence", RCW 46.61.520 "Vehicular Homicide", or RCW 46.61.522 "Vehicular Assault" have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on all motor vehicles operated by the person as a condition of release, and that they provide proof of installation to the court within five days of release from custody; or that they comply with a 24/7 sobriety program; or both."

"There are approximately 41,000 DUI arrests per year. As many as two thirds of those arrested have a prior alcohol or drug offense in their lifetime, and as many as half of those will be within 10 years of the current arrest. The requirements in the bill could result in an increase in the number of ignition interlock devices installed and associated fees collected resulting from increased compliance due to the verification requirement. However, there is no way to know how many individuals would participate in the 24/7 sobriety program instead or the length of time that vehicle owners would be required to have an ignition interlock devise. Because of the number of unknown factors, it is not possible to estimate how much in fees would be paid as a result of this bill."

"Ignition interlock device installation and operation fees would be paid directly to the authorized vendor. In addition to fees associated with the cost of installation and operation, under existing law persons with an IID pay a $10 ignition interlock installation fee and a $10 60-day calibration fee."


"don't drove drunk"

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Special session update & the next dozen days

Good government is conducted for the people in good faith.  The legislature must produce a budget, but instead of leadership, Governor Inslee's played the blame-game.

The first 30-day special session has ended and the Legislature still has not passed an operating budget. The governor called a second 30-day special session last Wednesday. By law, he can only call 30-day special sessions. However, we need an operating budget by the end of June, when the state’s fiscal year ends.

How we got here:

How we arrived in a second special session without a budget is rather simple. The Democrats want to implement or increase taxes, and the bipartisan Senate Majority Coalition Caucus wants some reform bills if new tax revenue is going to be on the table. This budget could have been passed long ago. If you have read my e-mail updates or listened me on the radio, you have heard me say the state has $2 billion more in tax revenue for this budget than the last. We should have been able to pass a balanced budget with a 6.6 percent increase in tax collections in the regular session…and not be wasting taxpayer money on special sessions. Since I have been serving in Olympia, we have had much more difficult budget situations. This should not be one of them.

The budget proposals:
House Democrats did offer a new budget proposal at the end of the first special session. It passed the House by a vote of 53-35. All Republicans and one Democrat voted against House Bill 1057.

Their latest proposed budget does make some concessions, particularly backing off on the permanent extension of the Business and Occupation (B&O) surtax on service businesses. However, they are still leaving it in place for some industries. Their latest proposal also removes the sales tax exemption for non-residents (this will have a huge impact on our border counties), and it removes the sales tax exemption on bottled water – a tax voters turned down in 2010. These taxes may not seem significant to most, but I still believe now is now the time to be raising taxes. There are still more than 57,000 people out of work since the start of the recession five years ago. It also goes back to our tax collections, they are up almost 7 percent. Why are we talking about raising taxes?

My other concerns with the House majority budget include:
  • it reduces spending on K-12 education by approximately $500 million;
  • it uses an education apportionment shift that could impact school funding;
  • it sweeps all the funds out of the Public Works Trust Fund (PWTF) from the capital budget (Local governments depend on this fund for critical infrastructure projects); and
  • there are about $600 million in fund shifts throughout the budget.
It is impossible to have a sustainable budget when you are using gimmicks, such as sweeping accounts and one-time money shifts like the education apportionment and taking the PWTF monies. The most telling part of their budget is that it spends less on education than any of the other budget proposals we have seen and still raises taxes. They are clearly putting students, teachers and our education system up against tax increases. House Republicans have been saying since Day One, let’s fund education first, then if taxes are needed to fund other priorities then the majority should bring it up for a discussion. Raising taxes, particularly holding out school funding to do so, should not be an option.

The Senate Majority Coalition Caucus budget, also passed a new version of their budget over the weekend – Senate Bill 5034. It has not changed much from the bipartisan budget they passed in the regular session, the difference is they are asking for reform legislation to be passed as part of a budget agreement.

House Democrats have dropped their original tax increase plan from $1.3 billion to about $525 million. Senate Republicans initially had a list of 33 reform bills they wanted on the table and they are now requesting just three.

What’s next?

Unfortunately, we are now seeing a lot of finger-pointing and threatening terms being thrown around such as “fiscal cliff” and “government shutdown.” The governor is the biggest offender. The Washington State Wire article “Inslee Abandons Mediator Role as He Calls Second Special Session – Blames All Problems on Republicans” provides a good breakdown of what has happened in the last few days.

The “fiscal cliff” and “government shutdown” rhetoric really is unnecessary and has only inflamed the budget debate. We don’t need the Washington D.C. mentality as part of our state government. The federal government took about five years to pass a budget, they have stalled on nearly all major issues and the things we are finding out about how their agencies have been functioning is downright frightening. We do not need to be linking our state to D.C. politics in any way, shape or form and that goes for rhetoric, too.

The governor now seems to have a sense of urgency to resolve the budget debate. Where was the urgency when he waited two weeks before calling the first special session? Why hasn’t his office been more involved in bringing people to the table to work out their differences – something both former governors Gary Locke and Christine Gregoire were very good at. Instead, he is fanning the flames and pointing fingers.

Death tax reappears:

The biggest black eye of the session will be the shameful execution of House Bill 2075, or what is referred to as the Bracken Bill. It reinstates the estate tax on married couples’ assets and does so with a retroactivity clause. That means families, who have deceased family members, will have to pay millions in taxes to the state Department of Revenue.

You will hear a lot of political rhetoric surrounding this issue, but the main and most significant point is this measure changes the rules retroactively so the state does not have to provide refunds to those taxpayers who followed the rules that were upheld by the Washington State Supreme Court. Not only does this set a dangerous precedent, but I believe it is unconstitutional and will be struck down by the same court that upheld the law. That will mean we will still owe the refunds plus interest and court and legal costs. It also means the budget will have to be adjusted to reflect this loss in the future. It is shameful for any legislator to support this measure.

[The estate/death tax' principle effect is to break up family business and hand over the proceeds to big corporations.  Take a family farm for example:  The business owners (mom and dad) pass on, leaving farm equipment and a millions dollars worth of arable land to the children.  The state taxes the million dollar parcel for 1/10th its value.  Who has $100,000 on hand to pay the tax?  So  whether or not the children would be interested in farming, the farm must be sold in order to pay for the tax.]

How does it end?

It is important to not buy into the hype. It is possible to live within our means, fulfill our obligation to fully fund education and not raise taxes. I am hopeful we will get there in the next couple weeks. We are not going over a fiscal cliff. The tax revenue is there. The negotiators need to meet in the middle. That means some reforms will need to be considered by House Democrats if they expect the Senate to agree to some new revenue. Or, maybe all the tax revenue bills go away along with the reforms and then an agreement is reached.

There is a revenue forecast update on June 18 that may show the state has a little more money coming in. That could help the negotiations but not enough that it should make a difference in the final budget.

Satellite TV tax update

I received many emails concerning a proposed satellite television tax. When House Democrats released their last operating budget proposal it included about $50 million in additional revenue from a satellite tax within a telecommunications services reform bill House Bill 1971.

We were anticipating an amendment to HB 1971 to include a new tax on satellite service. However, the amendment never appeared. Both HB 1971 and HB 1057 were voted out of the House without the proposed tax. However, while the House Democrats reconfigured their budget to exclude new revenue from a tax on satellite services, as we mentioned we are in a new session so everything will have to be voted on again and is subject to being amended.

--- Cary Condotta

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Recover Washington : Call for Action

Proper government operates by the consent of the governed.  Government never seeks to harm the people, but helps the people maintain their society.

By Mark Gjurasic

Recover Washington is a broad coalition of nearly 40 business organizations working in Olympia to protect your business against tax increases in the Legislature.  The Legislature has started a 30-day Special Session to adopt the state's two-year budget, and we need you to contact your legislator with the facts about the competing budget proposals in Olympia.  Please tell your Legislators:

- Support the State Senate's Budget Proposal - The State Senate's Bipartisan budget proposal balances the state budget and increases funding for education without increasing taxes on businesses.  Even under the State Senate's approach, state revenue will increase by $2.6 billion over the next two years - a 7% increase in state tax revenue - without increasing any taxes.

- Oppose the House's Increase in Business Taxes (which the House Democrats falsely call "investing in the education legacy trust") , House Bill 2038 - The House tax bill increases taxes on business by over $900 million.  This tax package has been falsely described by House members as "in large part . . .  closing nine tax exemptions benefiting a number of major industries."   This is just a smokescreen and it is wrong: over half of this tax increase ($534 million) is due to increasing the B&O by 20% on a variety of businesses that already pay the highest business tax rate in the state.  This business tax was temporarily increased in 2010, and voters overwhelmingly oppose permanently extending this tax increase on businesses.

- Senate Budget prioritizes Basic Education, the House Tax Increase does not  - The vast majority of the House's $900 million tax increase is used to fund increases in general government, it is not dedicated to basic education.  In contrast, the Senate Bipartisan Budget provides over $1 billion for basic education within existing tax revenues.

As the Special Session in Olympia begins, we need you to contact your legislators by calling their office (click here for the list) or by calling the Legislative Hotline number at 1-800-562-6000 and tell them to oppose HB 2038 and its tax increases on Washington's small businesses. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Legislators are back in Olympia

"No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session."

Today's the day--legislators are back in Olympia.


All they have to do is agree on a budget. Nothing else is required. And the State Senate already passed a highly bipartisan, balanced budget (30-18).

Haven't we had enough of the gimmicks and the grandstanding?  Now you know what we have to do: get loud and get local.

You can let your legislators know exactly what you think, either online or by phone.

And remember, today is also the first day of "filing week"--the week when people will file for nearly 2,300 offices up for election in our state this year. Many of these are in your area. Find the list for your county here (extremely useful).

To see who's filing for these offices--and to file or help someone file--contact your county auditor.

Shamelessly copied form the

Monday, April 29, 2013

2/3rds majority to raise taxes revisited


Last Autumn the people voted for I-1185, to require the state legislature to have a 2/3rds super-majority to impose new taxes.  Subsequently, the state Supreme Court struck down the same requirement (as stated in I-1053) as an unconstitutional interference with the legislature's power to raise taxes.

Requiring super-majority in legislature to increase taxes is an old issue in Washington State.  The people have repeatedly voted for  it, the legislature has repeatedly found ways around the will of the people.  When the court revoked I-1053, the dark power infecting the state government removed a substantial chunk of the people's right to self-rule.

The State's Constitution is very clear:

ARTICLE II
LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT
SECTION 1 LEGISLATIVE POWERS, WHERE VESTED. The legislative authority of the state of Washington shall be vested in the legislature, consisting of a senate and house of representatives, which shall be called the legislature of the state of Washington, but /////the people reserve to themselves the power to propose bills, laws, and to enact or reject the same at the polls, independent of the legislature/////, and also reserve power, at their own option, to approve or reject at the polls any act, item, section, or part of any bill, act, or law passed by the legislature.
The peoples law, the requirement of a 2/3rds majority, was completely constitutional.  The Court is out of line.

~~~~~~~~

Nonetheless, the State's citizens desire to do things in an orderly way, one that does not require the hanging renegade judges.  But the people have not been docile.   As usual,  Tim Eyman is first in line with a proposal --
  1. Requires yearly advisory votes every November asking voters whether they support or oppose letting the people vote on a 2/3-for-taxes constitutional amendment;
  2. Limits the duration of tax increases -- those imposed by the Legislature after January 1, 2013 -- to one year; and
  3. Provides information in the voters' pamphlet about the governor's and legislators' voting records on tax bills -- increases imposed after January 1, 2013.
Mr Eyman is promoting the democratic policies of having the people closely involved with their own governance.  The undemocratic "Democratic" Party controlled legislature can't stand the super-majority requirement to raise taxes.  The people voted for it -- why doesn't the legislature go along? 

This new super-majority initiative petition has yet to be numbered.  When it is, Impolite will announce and back it.








































Friday, April 26, 2013

Gov. Inslee to push gun control in special session

And other stuff.

"[Inslee] has several items on his list of policies, including the Reproductive Parity Act, the Washington Dream Act, and legislation on gun violence that would include universal background checks for gun sales." Spokane Spokesman Review
  • The Reproductive Parity Act would require every insurance policy in the state that covers maternity care to also cover abortions.  HB 1044.  Former Attorney General Rob McKenna states that the RPA as formulated, would inhibit federal health aid to Washington State.
  • The Washington Dream Act would promote state education for children of illegal immigrants.  HB 1817. Education is in the state interest, and according to our state constitution.  But one cannot help but get the feeling this measure is designed to enable care of anchor babies after they grow up, and not actually in the interest of education.  To forward this bill, the definition of "in state student" has been modified to "resident student" [RCW 28B.15.012(2)(e)].
  • Gun Control - Universal background checks for gun sales. HB 1588. Background checks can be enforced only if legislation is added that requires comprehensive gun registration.  Otherwise there is no way to verify that required background checks at time of transfer have been made.  If you think the gun controllers are willing to just "trust us" to register sales, then why do they push the background checks?  “Putting in place a system that makes sure that there isn’t a clear pathway around those rules makes sense and is likely to reduce some gun violence in our society,” State Representative Pedersen said.  The bill's supporters hardly intend to prevent felons from getting their hands on guns.  
Government should be in the service business. When did they get into the control business?

To be sure, Inslee has a pile of legislation to push.  Apparently he plans to apply immense pressure to the legislature to enact his leftist policies.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Budget time in Olympia

Budget time -- here’s an overview of what’s happening.
Less than four months into office, the campaign promises by Gov. Jay Inslee that he wouldn’t raise taxes have already been broken. He recently came out with a budget outline that would raise about $1.2 billion in taxes to pay for more government spending. His plan would roll back a series of tax breaks for businesses and individuals, and would make permanent tax increases that were supposed to be temporary and set to expire this year on June 30, 2013.

The temporary taxes were part of an $890 million tax package passed by the Legislature in 2010. Included in that tax package in 2010 were increased business and occupation (B&O) taxes, an increased tax on beer, soda, bottled water and many others. This would effectively repeal the People's initiative Initiative 1107.

The breakdown on taxes:
Temporary taxes which would become permanent
  • 50-cent beer tax, and expanding it to microbreweries ($127 million)
  • 0.3 percent B&O tax on service businesses ($534 million), including:
  • architects
  • attorneys
  • barbers and beauty shop owners
  • chiropractors
  • dentists
  • funeral directors
  • janitors
  • music teachers
  • physicians
  • real estate agents
  • school bus operators
  • veterinarians
Tax Incentives which would end (which equals tax increases)
  • vehicle trade-ins when purchasing a new car: $94.8 million
  • local residential phone service: $83.2 million
  • computer software: $78.5 million
  • most state businesses that were given lower rates in order to locate or expand in Washington: $66.2 million
  • non-residents who shop in Washington stores: $63.7 million
  • bottled water: $51.5 million
  • recycled fuel environmental programs at Washington’s oil refineries: $40.8 million
  • resellers of prescription drugs: $29 million
  • long-term rental of commercial land/buildings: $27.8 million
  • import commerce: $24.1 million
  • farm equipment: $5.6 million
The governor explained that allowing temporary tax increases to continue is not breaking his no-tax campaign promise because it is not an actual tax increase. I tend to disagree and when you repeal exemptions and extend temporary taxes, you are raising taxes. The media seems to agree as well and you can read more here, here, and here.

Campaign promises and semantics aside, we do not need to raise taxes. Washington state is expected to take in $2 billion more in the coming budget cycle. We should be able to prioritize spending in the budget – fund education first, protect our most vulnerable citizens and keep our communities safe by funding public safety with the 6.6 percent increase in tax collections. I am guessing many employers and families trying to make ends meet would love to see that kind of increase in their income. Unfortunately, the governor is proposing more ways to take money out of the pockets of employers and taxpayers.

The governor wants to raise taxes on the very people our own State Treasurer Jim McIntire is saying we tax too much. "You don’t often hear a Democrat say we over-tax business, but we do," McIntire said. "I want to be really clear that it’s a problem in the state."

While the governor’s plan is simply a proposal, it sends the wrong message. We have an increase in tax revenue, even though our economy is still limping along, but he wants to ask citizens for another $1.2 billion to increase spending. Maybe he should take a look at the Senate.

Senate budget proposal
The Majority Coalition Caucus in the Senate passed a bipartisan budget proposal last week by a vote of 30-18. It does NOT raises taxes, yet increases funding for education by $1 billion to address the McCleary decision. It is about priorities. The governor feels taxes are needed to fund education, whereas the Senate is showing what House Republicans have been saying all along: If you prioritize you can fund the core functions of your government and adequately fund education as required by the McCleary decision and our state Supreme Court without asking for more taxpayer dollars. While the Senate budget may not be exactly what House Republicans would draft, it does approach our principles and priorities.

House Democrat budget proposal
On Wednesday, House Democrats introduced a budget similar to Gov. Inslee’s. It would:
  • increase taxes by $1.3 billion;
  • spend $13 million less on higher education than the Senate budget, and permit tuition increases of 10 percent at UW/WSU and 6 percent at other two and four-year institutions (the Senate budget lowers tuition).
  • make $757 million in one-time fund transfers, including tapping ALL of the state’s rainy-day fund ($575 million, of which $238 million would be spent and $337 million would be left to comprise an unrestricted ending fund balance).
  • raise state spending to an unsustainable level of $34.51 billion, which is a $3.3 billion increase from current appropriations and equates to a 10.4 percent increase from the 2011-13 budget cycle. This is approximately $1.95 billion more than the $32.56 billion the state expects to bring in. It is also spends $75 million more than Gov. Jay Inslee proposed and nearly $1.2 billion more than the bipartisan, no-new-taxes Senate operating budget approved last week.


Governor House Democrats Senate Coalition
Make “temporary” taxes permanent? yes yes no
B&O tax increases yes yes no
McCleary education funding $1.2 billion $1.2 billion (House Republicans: $903 million, but directly to classroom) $1.0 billion
Higher education tuition (four-year) 5% increase 5% increase 3% decrease
Reserves or ending balance $532 million $337 million $611 million
Total budget (not including rainy day fund) $34.4 billion $34.5 billion $33.3 billion
For more on the Senate plan you can click Senate Operating Budget. For more on the governor’s plan you can click Inslee’s Budget and Tax Plan. Finally, click House Democrat Plan for more information on their proposal.

Cary Condotta

Friday, April 5, 2013

Governor's proposes new B&O tax on renters

The ink has hardly dried on Inslee's new gubernatorial stationery and the governor is raising the taxes on the people of Washington State.  Inslee's proposed business and occupancy tax will be billed to landlords, but paid for by renters.

Inslee announced plans to tax residential rentals for 1.8 percent statewide.  You thought your rent was high now?  Under Inslee's plan your rent will go up $18 per $1000 per month.  Seattle rents will go up even more, because Seattle tacks on 0.415% extra -- which means Seattle renters will pay an extra $22 per $1000 per month.

Inslee said the state "must choose education over tax breaks".  This announcement came after the state decided to spend billions on highway projects (HB1864), replacing the Evergreen Point Floating bridge, replacing the bridge over the Columbia at Portland and Vancouver, the Alaska Way viaduct, and spending billions on other highway projects. 

Why do we need to spend so much money on deluxe state highway projects if our education system is in such need?  Inslee's sense of timing is very bad  --  Or else Inslee and his government are trying to fool the people.

Inslee said he only wants to close tax loopholes.  Apparently what he meant is he wants to take more of your money.



Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Restore the 2/3rds requirement to raise taxes

The State Supreme Court just made it a lot easier for the legislature to raise your taxes—and we know they’re going to try.

Washington voters have repeatedly (6 times) and overwhelmingly (64% in 2012) voted to require a super-majority vote for the legislature to increase taxes or fees. Yet six State Supreme Court justices sided with special interests to strike down this law.

Some politicians claim tax hikes are essential just to support basic services. It’s an outright lie. State revenue for the next budget is projected to be $2 billion more than in the last budget, yet politicians say it’s not enough. In fact, revenue has consistently increased over time. Washington State doesn’t have a revenue problem—we have a spending problem.

Let’s tell Olympia, loud and clear, that we don’t need more taxes.  Sign our petition and tell WA Legislators to restore the two-thirds vote requirement on new taxes!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Legislative update

The very tired representative Cary Condotta filed this report on the Legislative session.
~~~~~~~~

We have reached another cutoff date. Wednesday was the final day for us to pass House bills over to the Senate, and the Senate pass bills to us in the House. We had many late nights and some weekend work.

The most interesting part of the House floor action occurred in the last couple days. On Tuesday we passed about eight bills before noon. Then, the wait began.

House Democrats were adamant in getting a background check bill passed for firearms purchases. They had told the press for two days the bill was coming and it was going to pass. However, they didn’t have the votes in their own caucus despite having a majority. (They may have even had a few votes from Republicans.)

After almost nine hours Democrats informed us we were adjourning for the night. We sat, and we waited, and we did vote on one bill, but that was it. Gov. Jay Inslee and Vice President Joe Biden were calling members trying to use their influence [to enact gun control] on both sides of the aisle.

Once again, the majority said we are passing this [gun control] bill and we are not voting on any other bills or addressing any other issues until we pass this measure. Keep in mind, the Senate has no intention of passing this bill anyway.

The governor has talked about regulatory reform  and bringing jobs to Washington. The majority has said this session was going to be about jobs and improving the economy. Well, where are the bills to help our economy, provide our employers some stability and help them put people back to work?

Instead, we spend nine hours waiting for them to twist arms and come to some sort of resolution on a background check bill that won’t get out of the Senate.

If you have the votes, let’s vote! If you don’t let’s move on. Unfortunately, being in the minority we do not control the floor agenda. Citizens need to take notice of how things are being run in the state House and the early actions by our governor. It’s not very encouraging.

House Democrats’ transportation tax plan

Since my last e-mail update majority Democrats in the House have announced a proposal to create a new, 10-cent per gallon gas tax. Washington drivers would pay the highest gas tax in the nation, more than doubling the state’s gas tax since 2003 if they get their wish.

When you include federal gas taxes, drivers in our state would pay 66 cents in combined state and federal taxes for every gallon of gasoline they purchase. The proposal isn’t just about increasing the gas tax. Apparently the Democrats think taxpayers have money hidden all over the place.

The Democrats also want to:
  • override I-695 and reinstate the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax, or MVET.  They are proposing a .7 percent tax which amounts to $140 increase in license fees for a $20,000 automobile;
  • increase the weight fee by 15 percent for large vehicles. Cost to owners: $102 million;
  • implement a fee of $25 for each bicycle purchased that is valued over $500. Cost to bicyclists: $1 million; 
  • increase the hazardous substance tax increase 0.3 percent. Cost to farmers and taxpayers: $897 million.
House Republican transportation reforms
When it comes to our transportation system, I believe we need to fix it, before we fund it.  We have a number of problems with our transportation system that we need to correct before we ask taxpayers for more money.

There are pontoon problems with 520 floating bridge, mitigation for shoreline appeals on that project alone topped $160 million before the Legislature intervened, our ferry system is not getting the biggest bang for the buck, and we are paying sales tax on transportation projects that goes into the state general fund.

Our caucus feels there are some reforms and accountability measures that need to be implemented before asking you, the taxpayers, to pay more. Are you willing to pay 10 cents more for a gallon of gas? Click here to take a survey and leave a comment for me if you’d like. Here is a summary of our reforms:

Creating jobs
· House Bill 1236 – improve the permitting process.
· House Bill 1619 – suspend GMA requirements in counties with persistently high unemployment.
Making state gas tax dollars go further
· House Bill 1985– eliminate state and local sales and use tax on new transportation projects.
Ensuring accountability
· House Bill 1986– require Washington State Department of Transportation to report engineering errors.
Protecting taxpayers
· House Bill 1984– limit Washington State Department of Transportation’s tort liability.
· House Bill 1989– 15-year bond terms, instead of the current 30-year bonding practice.

Freedom Agenda
I continue to fight on your behalf on issues that protect your freedoms, such as the freedom to keep and bear arms, the freedom to raise your children as you see fit, and the freedom to keep more of your own hard-earned money and claim your part of the American Dream.

Here are just a few examples of what we are working on:

Stopping the infringement of our rights to keep and bear arms – House Bill 1588 is the very bill the House Democrats tried to pass for nine hours. It would require background checks on all gun sales, even private sales, and does nothing to address those who are already violating firearm laws.

This bill goes against our Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms. It also goes against the Washington State Constitution, Article 1, Section 24: “The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired.” This bill did NOT make it out of the House before the cutoff date.

Preserve your freedom of privacy – We’re not going to stand by and let government peer into your windows or backyard using drones with high optic lenses. That’s why I jointly sponsored House Bill 1771, restricting the use of unmanned drones in Washington.

The measure would require approval from the Legislature or local governing body for local law enforcement agencies before public agencies could use drones and only with a search warrant, in an emergency, or forest fire.

This bill sailed out of the House Public Safety Committee by a vote of 12-1 and had wide support in the House. We suspect a major lobby effort by those who build drones kept it from what would have been a successful vote. However, we have brought attention to the issue.

Government accountability – House Bill 1093: State agencies frequently use your taxpayer dollars to lobby the Legislature for more of your taxpayer dollars. We passed a bill to stop government’s abuse against taxpayers.

This measure would impose a penalty of $100 per statement on a state agency director who knowingly fails to file lobbyist disclosure statements. It would also establish penalties against any state agency official, officer, or employee who is responsible for or knowingly spends public funds in violation of lobbyist restrictions.

This bill passed the House on 97-1.  On to the Senate



 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Washington state gun registration update

Gun control advocates have until this Wednesday, March 13, to move House Bill 1588 out of the state House of Representatives.HB 1588 is sponsored by state Representative Jamie Pederson (D-43) and 37 other gun-grabbing representatives.  As introduced, HB1588 would criminalize all unregistered private transfers of firearms.

There have been many alternative versions circulated in recent days and the final language is currently unknown.

It is almost certain that the language soon to be considered by the state House will require gun owners to go through a licensed dealer or law enforcement agency when transferring a firearm to a person who is not a concealed pistol license holder.  These de facto registrations will involve fees, paperwork, potential delays, the probably the creation of a state permit to purchase a firearm.  Later on there is the likelihood of state "sin" taxation on firearms ownership, and the requirement for personal records keeping on private firearm transactions.

This bill is a regulatory scheme that would create a huge burden for law-abiding citizens, would be ignored by criminals, and eventually be given teeth to make it "enforceable" against law-abiding citizens.  1588 is the first step to comprehensive statewide firearm registration!

House Bill 1588 has become the top priority of a new anti-gun advocacy group, the elitist organization Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility (WAGR).  WAGR, funded by a few millionaires in Seattle, is seeking to erode the Second Amendment and the right to self-defense, and is backed by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  Vice President Joe Biden is also reported making telephone calls to Washington state representatives in support of HB 1588.

The elitist Left is using Washington State to test their latest ideas on how to corrupt freedom and oppress the people.  Please don't wait 'til we have to defend our freedom with force.  Contact your state representatives and tell them to oppose HB 1588.

~~~~~~~~

Update, March 14, 2013:  HB 1588 died without being voted out of chamber.  We private citizens and gun owners are safe from our state government, for now.

The Democrats are moving ahead with an "assault weapons" ban in the federal congress.  We'll see.

Monday, March 4, 2013

I-1053 is overturned


Last Thursday, 6 of our 9 Supreme Court Justices threw out the part of the People's law, I-1053, that imposed a 2/3rds vote requirement on the legislature to pass tax increases.  Washington State Supreme Court's decision makes it a lot easier for the legislature to raise our taxes.  A coalition of lawmakers and "education groups" sued to overturn the will of the People.

Washington citizens can never again vote to impose this healthy check against over-taxation...at least not the way we have done so in the past.

Some politicians claim tax hikes are essential just to support basic services. It’s an outright lie. State revenue for the next budget is projected to be $2 billion more than in the last budget, yet politicians say it’s not enough. In fact, revenue has consistently increased over time. Washington State doesn’t have a revenue problem—we have a spending problem.

Now, the only way to reinstate the 2/3rds requirement is through a constitutional amendment.

We need your help to get our legislature even to consider it.

Please sign the petition.

What other people read on this blog

Effing the ineffable - Washington State elections sometimes have been rigged.

“It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.”
-- Joseph Stalin