Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It's been an eventful week in Olympia. I've had the opportunity to meet with some great people and work on some good legislation. Here's an update on what's happening in the state House…
Inspiration for legislation can come from something as simple as reading the news. A few weeks ago I saw an article describing how the State of California had backed out of an agreement with BMW to give full “green” status to BMW's new electric car, the i3. Knowing the i3 contains carbon fiber parts made in Washington state, and being an electric vehicle enthusiast myself, I wanted to make sure Washington wouldn't repeat California's mistake and would promote sales of this innovative, zero-emissions car.
Washington state currently grants sales tax exemptions for electric vehicles. But when I asked the Department of Licensing if the i3 would qualify for the exemption, they said “no” because the i3 has an optional gas-powered “range extender,” which allows you to travel a few extra miles if you run out of juice.
I've now introduced a bill to make the i3 eligible for the sales tax exemption. It has bipartisan support. You can learn more by watching my latest video update:
UW students, PTA members come to Olympia
This week I had the pleasure of meeting with a group of University of Washington students who came to the state capital for a day. We discussed the challenges of middle-income students paying for tuition, growing student debt and building capacity as needed to our colleges and universities. Last year the Legislature gave a 12.4 percent funding increase to Higher Education, and for the first time in a long time there were no tuition increases at state schools.
Also this week I spoke at a Washington Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) rally and met with PTA members about the importance of funding for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in our K-12 schools.
Listen to my podcast
In my latest podcast I discuss my bill to give students and parents information about earnings potential of degrees, my electric vehicle tax exemption bill, and my response to the governor's proposal to raise taxes for education.
Thank you for your time, and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments.
427 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7876 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000