Session priorities: The Tax Relief and Reform Act of 2022

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

As we end week two of this year’s 60-day session, I wanted to update you on some of the roles I will be filling this year. I will continue to serve as Republican Floor Leader, which allows me to work with members of the Senate on bills, organizing floor speeches and amendments. Additionally, I will temporarily be filling the role of Ranking Republican on the Senate’s Environment, Energy and Technology Committee. In this position, I will be look at bills that come before the committee and asking:

  • Does this give the government more authority?
  • Does the environmental policy utilize technology that is measurable, doable and uses common sense?
  • Will this make electricity more expensive; less reliable?
  • Are there checks and balances to the proposal?
  • Is the policy necessary?
  • Will this add more regulation?
  • Does it incentive or punish?
  • Are proposed fees or taxes necessary?
  • Does this create hardship?

As the lead Republican member, this is the lens that I will be using to view bills as they come before the committee this session.


The Tax Relief and Reform Act of 2022

Since the beginning of the pandemic, many of our families have struggled to make ends meet. Now with inflation skyrocketing, that problem is only getting worse. Despite these factors, our state continues to take in more revenue than expected. Senate Republicans continue to be concerned that taxpayers need to be front and center and believe that tax relief should be at the top of the list. We are proposing the Tax Relief and Reform Act of 2022, which would bring tax relief in the form of reducing homeowners’ property taxes (without a tax shift) and manufacturers’ business taxes. Additionally, this legislation would repeal the capital gains tax and the long-term care payroll tax.

Senate Bill 5769 is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Business, Financial Services & Trade Committee on January 25. The number one issue that people continue to share is their worry about making basic ends meet  — especially in light of growing inflation. Households are worried about paying their mortgage or rent, putting food on their table and providing other necessities for themselves and their families. We have heard you loud and clear!


More fee increases?

Unfortunately, on the flip side of the coin, legislation has been introduced again to increase your cost of living. Senate Bill 5634 would increase the fees paid by electric, natural gas, telecommunications, wastewater and water companies to the Utilities and transportation Commission. During the recent committee hearing, there was admission that these fees would be passed on to consumers in the form of higher utility bills. Just because an agency hasn’t had a fee increase in a very long time doesn’t automatically mean it should occur.  In the hearing, I learned this agency’s workload has increased from all of the climate bills passed by the majority in recent years.  These increases are just the tip of the iceberg.



Working together to reduce insurance premiums

While there are many issues legislators disagree on, one issue we are working on together is to decrease the cost of your insurance premiums. You may remember that last March, the Office of Insurance Commissioner (OIC) filed an emergency rule-making order to temporarily prohibit the use of credit history in determining premiums and eligibility for automobile, homeowners, and renter’s insurance. In October, the emergency rule was overturned by Thurston County Superior Court. But that hasn’t stopped the OIC from trying to make this rule permanent.

Senate Bill 5623 would allow insurers to resume using credit history in determining insurance premiums for an individual. Additionally, this legislation would only allow insurance carriers to use credit scores to decrease rates on home, renters, and car insurance premiums and prohibit credit history from increasing rates at renewal. By allowing insurance carriers to use credit scores again, individuals who saw their rates increase will see their rates drop upon renewal.


Lights, Camera, Action!

Another bipartisan effort I am involved in is Senate Bill 5640 and Senate Bill 5760, which incentivizes motion picture development throughout our state and in our rural communities. This legislation updates the motion picture competitiveness program and encourages more filmmakers to our state; and with that comes more jobs and opportunities for students to learn about motion pictures. Not only is this a learning opportunity but it’s great for local economic development!  I am excited about the growth that is occurring in Eastern Washington and cannot wait to see where it goes! I am excited to work with Washington Film Works as they help encourage our communities to prepare for these opportunities. Our rural communities have so much to offer, including our beautiful scenery!

I look forward to communicating with you during session. It is an incredible privilege to serve as your state senator and be your voice. If you need anything at all or would like me to highlight or provide information on any issues, my office is here for you. I can be reached by phone at (360) 786-7612 and by email at