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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

After a long interim, it's nice to finally be in session and working on issues that are not only critical to us here in the 8th District, but to everyone across the state. Although this year's 60-day session is being conducted remotely, there are many ways you can stay engaged in the legislative process. I encourage you to follow House Republicans on Twitter and Facebook, visit The Ledger, and utilize the resources listed in this document. Finally, please bookmark my legislative website, where you can find my latest press releases, videos, interviews, and more.

I also encourage you to register for the virtual town hall meeting I'm hosting with Rep. Klippert and Sen. Brown on Monday, January 31, from 6-7:30 p.m. The three of us will be providing a session update and taking your questions. To join us, please register by clicking here. I hope to see you on the 31st!

House Republican 2022 priorities and bills

In my last email update, which I sent out in late November, I provided an overview of the four main priorities House Republicans would have during this year's 60-day legislative session. Now that session has begun, I wanted to share some of the bills we've introduced that fit within these four main priorities.

Providing tax relief and making life more affordable for all Washingtonians

House Bill 1898: Reducing state property tax levies

Returns $2 billion back to taxpayers through a reduction and rebasing of the state levy from overcollections from 2018-2022, occurring because property values have risen much faster than anticipated when legislation was passed in 2017. If House Bill 1898 is not adopted, an additional $3 billion in overcollection will occur between 2023-2027.

House Bill 1594: Repealing the long-term care trust act and payroll tax

Repeals the payroll tax and wholly inadequate and insolvent benefit from the Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) Trust Act. Learn more about the program and payroll tax here.

House Bill 1913: Repealing and replacing the long-term care trust and payroll tax

Repeals the Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) Trust Act and associated payroll tax, replacing it with a privately-managed program that leverages the state's existing revenue to make long-term care coverage both affordable and optional.

Note: After House Democrats refused to give House Bills 1594 and 1913 a public hearing, we attempted to bring both bills to the House floor for a vote yesterday. Our motions were denied. As it stands, there will be an 18-month delay to a program that, based on the 2020 actuarial analysis, will only be solvent until 2075. And that 2075 projection was based on a higher payroll tax rate and the assumption that 105,000 employees would opt out of the LTSS program. Instead, 450,000 employees have opted out. Unless fundamental changes are made, insolvency may come much sooner than originally projected.

House Bill 2015: Expanding the Working Families Tax Credit

Expands and enhances the Working Families Tax Credit by expanding income eligibility, doubling the base payment, and increasing the minimum benefit for working families with children.

House Bill 1858: Reducing manufacturing tax rates

Lowers Washington's main business tax rate for manufacturing and trucking by 40%, and extends and expands an existing tax preference for food processing.

Strengthening communities by making public safety a priority and supporting effective community policing

House Bill 1737: Restoring balance and common sense to police reform

Rolls back a number of harmful provisions passed in last year's “police reform” bills, restoring tactics and tools to help police bring criminals to justice and keep communities safe.

House Bill 1788: Allowing law enforcement to chase suspects

Eliminates the disastrous probable cause requirement for vehicular chases of criminal suspects, allowing peace officers to engage in a vehicular pursuit when there is reasonable suspicion a person in the vehicle has committed or is committing a criminal offense.

House Bill 1787: Putting more police officers on the streets

Provides funding for signing bonuses, retention bonuses, body cameras for local agencies, and additional Criminal Justice Training Commission classes to get officers trained and ready more quickly.

House Bill 1656: Protecting our retailers from theft

In Washington, it is not against the law to hide stolen retail goods under one's clothing. This bill amends the definition of theft to include the concealment of the property of another when the intent is to deprive the other person of its use or benefit.

House Bill 1873: Stopping catalytic converter thefts

Requires that catalytic converters be added to the list of items for which sales records must be kept by scrap metal dealers, prohibits the sale of catalytic converters by anyone other than a commercial enterprise or the private owner of the vehicle, and increases the seriousness of repeated offenses.

Holding state government accountable, improving outcomes, and enacting emergency powers reform

House Bill 1772: Adopting emergency powers reform

Modeled after a variety of emergency powers statues utilized in almost every state in the nation, this bill increases legislative involvement during states of emergency, allowing for legislative oversight on states of emergency that last longer than 60 days.

House Bill 1541: Increasing funding to cities for homelessness solutions

Provides $200 million per year to cities to combat homelessness, provided they ban injection sites and clean up encampments near schools and parks.

House Bill 1177: Implementing the periodic review of state spending programs

Requires every new state spending program that meets certain criteria to include an expiration date, performance statement, and data requirements to measure the effectiveness of the program.

House Bill 1178: Improving state budgeting through zero-based budget reviews

Requires agencies to regularly “zero-base” their budgets to better prioritize spending , and then submit that analysis to the governor and Legislature. This bill would help constrain the growth of government and improve outcomes.

Transportation solutions: Reprioritizing Existing Appropriations for Longevity (REAL) Act

A suite of bills to make Washington's transportation system safer and function better for travelers. Instead of raising taxes, these bills reprioritize our current budget surplus to pay for transportation projects.

Empowering parents by providing transparency and the necessary financial and educational flexibility to help their children succeed in school and in life

House Bill 1536: Establishing regional apprenticeship programs through ESDs

Requires each educational service district to establish two apprenticeship programs for high school students in different industries based on input from local programs and industries. Each ESD will have two FTEs to help implement this program.

House Bill 1633: Promoting school choice through the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program

Establishes an educational scholarship program of $10,000 for 100,000 homeschooled and private school students to cover costs associated with alternative education, such as books and learning materials, transportation, and tuition fees.

House Bill 2042: Establishing an education scholarship program to promote equity

Establishes a homeschool and private school voucher program of $7,000 for 130,000 students to cover costs associated with alternative education. One quarter of these scholarships would be awarded to students within special populations, such as students experiencing homelessness.

House Bill 1973: Requiring school board meetings to be recorded

Requires regular and special meetings of school boards to be recorded, and must include the comments of the board and members of the public if testimony was taken at the meeting. Recordings must be provided to the public upon request.

House Bill 2056: Increasing transparency in the classroom

Requires teachers to make syllabi and primary materials available on the school district's website to promote transparency in our public school system.

Contacting me

I welcome your thoughts on these bills or anything else that's on your mind. My email address is Matt.Boehnke@leg.wa.gov, and my office number is (509) 315-2315. I look forward to hearing from you!


Matt Boehnke

State Representative Matt Boehnke, 8th Legislative District
122B Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(509) 315-2315 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000