It’s your home, expect more
For many Washington families, living in their homes has become unsafe and unaffordable, with an increasingly unaccountable state government that seems indifferent to their day-to-day struggle.
Homelessness and social services are in crisis, with a 240 percent increase in chronic homelessness in the last three years. While our state economy remains strong, the American dream continues to slip away from so many as childcare expenses have increased by almost $2,000 per year, median home prices across the state continue to skyrocket, and our state gas tax consistently remains one of the highest in the nation.
All of this, while state government fails in so many crucial areas – data breaches, cost overruns, the decertification of Western State Hospital, foster care mismanagement, and the early release of dangerous criminals by the Department of Corrections.
But we continue to believe there is a better way, for a better Washington.
We need to enforce our existing laws and support law enforcement as they try to clean up our streets. We must stop enabling destructive behavior and start demanding accountability from those who seek services. We can still help people get clean, get treatment, and get shelter while helping them better their lives in the long run.
With billions in surplus revenues the past few years, some in Olympia continue to want more – more of your hard-earned tax dollars. Just last session, the majority party raised taxes by more than $2 billion over the next four years! And we expect to see a continued push for a state income tax during this next legislative session.
We believe taxpayers and families have given more than enough. Washington state government should live within its means. We will fight against any state income tax, vehicles-miles-traveled tax, or any other tax scheme originating from Seattle that hurts your family budget.
We need to make living in Washington state – living in your home – more affordable. That starts with lowering the cost of home ownership, reducing the costs of childcare, and keeping energy and transportation costs affordable.
And finally, let's make state government accountable to the people. We need to end closed-door negotiations, eliminate title-only bills, and get back to results-based budgeting where we fund our priorities first.
The question is this: “Do you feel like you're getting your money's worth from your state government?”
We feel there is a better way, for a better Washington, and we – along with our colleagues – will continue to roll out our solutions during the upcoming legislative session. Stay tuned. It's your home, expect more.
(Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda, is the Deputy Leader and Rep. Jacqueline Maycumber, R-Republic, serves as the Floor Leader for the Washington State House Republicans.)