Victory! Property tax hike defeated, for now


110 Legislative Modular Building, PO Box 40402, Olympia, WA 98504 | 360.786.7602 |

Matthew Smith | | 360-786-7602


Feb. 16, 2024

Victory! Property tax hike dead for 2024

After public pressure, Democrats also commit to holding hearings on some initiatives.


Dear friends and neighbors,

Week 5 of the 2024 session was spent on the Senate floor voting on bills previously approved by their assigned committees, in anticipation of this week's deadline for us to consider “House of origin” bills; in other words, Tuesday was the cut-off deadline for the Senate to vote on Senate bills and for the House of Representatives to vote on House bills.

Now that we've reach that key deadline, all of the approved House bills will come to the Senate to begin the evaluation process all over again, starting with public hearings in committees. This will continue to whittle down the number of viable bills so that we are left with only the measures that have broad support of both chambers.

Unfortunately, one of my key bills didn't make it. Senate Bill 6205, which deals with instruction on the history and meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance, was killed by Democrats who refused to bring the measure to the floor for a full vote of the Senate. You can learn more about why I believe they did this in this update.

But I am happy to have an opportunity to also share some good news with you. Thanks to the work of citizens like you, Senate Republicans were able to kill the Democrat plan to triple the permittable growth rate of your property taxes without a vote of the people.

While the bill is dead for the session, we must remain vigilant and continue to push back against government greed, which is always looking for news ways to keep its hands in your wallet!

Another bit of good news: Again public pressure has forced Democrats to do the right thing and begin holding hearings on three of the six initiatives to the Legislature sent here by the people. They have committed to doing so, and now it is important that we make sure they keep that commitment and keep pushing until they hold hearings all six measures. 

We're in the final stretch of the short session sprint, with only two weeks left to approve supplemental budgets and wrap up our legislative business for the year.

Thank you for staying connected while I am in Olympia and for the great privilege of serving as your state Senator. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. Your input is important to me. 


full signature

Sen. Jim McCune, 2nd Legislative District

Video Update:

Why did Democrats kill our bill to teach the history and meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance? 


Click here to watch and learn more.


Understanding the Pledge will benefit democracy

By The Columbian Editorial Board | Feb. 12, 2024



Contrary to commonly held belief, public classrooms throughout Washington are expected to recite the Pledge of Allegiance each day.

The Revised Code of Washington (28A.230.140) calls for “appropriate flag exercises to be held in each classroom at the beginning of the school day ... at which exercises those pupils so desiring shall recite the following salute to the flag: ‘I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.’ “

It is likely that most adults can still recite that pledge. But rote recitation is not the same as understanding.

That is the idea behind Senate Bill 6205, which currently is in committee in the Legislature. Recommended by a class at Eatonville Middle School, south of Tacoma, the legislation would call for teaching the meaning and the history of the pledge at each school level by the 2025-26 school year.

It is a good idea, and it would meld with continuing work throughout the state to improve civics education.

...Of course, any effort to teach and understand American history is likely to quickly become embroiled in political differences. …But such disagreements reflect what it means to be an American. While we might not agree on the meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance, having students ponder that meaning is better for our democracy than expecting them to thoughtlessly recite the words.

Click here to read the full editorial.

In The News:

Video shows truck crash into Seattle pot shop before thieves steal ATM

by KOMO News Staff


The owners of a south Seattle cannabis dispensary are once again working on major repairs after thieves used a flatbed pick-up truck to smash their way into the business to steal an ATM early Wednesday morning.

...Earlier this week, the Washington state Senate unanimously passed a bill that would increase penalties for people who use a vehicle to crash into a cannabis retailers during burglaries.

If Senate Bill 6133 becomes law, prosecutors could charge people who use vehicles for smash-and-grab burglaries at pot shops with either first-degree or second-degree robbery, which are both felonies.

“These cannabis shops are in all of our neighborhoods, and have really become a magnet for an unprecedented level of criminal activities,” said Rep. Jim McCune (R-Graham), the bill’s sponsor.

SB 6133 would also assist Washington’s Liquor and Cannabis Board (LBC) in maintaining statistics on pot shop break-ins by requiring cannabis retailers to report robberies to the board within 10 days. The Washington State patrol would also be tasked with regularly consulting with the LBC’s chief enforcement officer.

“Whether people like it or not, cannabis stores have been legal in Washington for nearly a decade, and the state is bringing in nearly half a billion dollars a year in tax revenue from this product,” McCune said in a statement. “If the state is going to profit from having a legal cannabis industry, it should also do everything possible to protect workers, customers and the community from criminal activity at cannabis retailers.”

SB 6133 now heads to the state House of Representatives.

Click here to watch the full story.


In The News:

Washington Democrats say some of the taxpayer initiatives will not get hearings

By Carleen Johnson | The Center Square

Democratic leaders in Olympia say they will not hold hearings on at least two of the six initiatives to the Legislature that Republicans argue the majority is obligated to consider based on the Washington State Constitution.

The two measures they will not consider based on comments from leadership this week are Initiative 2109 that would repeal the state’s capital gains tax and Initiative 2117 that would repeal the state’s carbon market under the Climate Commitment Act.

Unless Democratic leadership changes course, the initiatives will head to the November ballot. The Legislature can approve the initiatives or send them to voters. If the initiatives are rejected by the Legislature or the Legislature takes no action by the end of session on March 7, they will go on the November ballot. The Legislature may also pass an alternative proposal to accompany each initiative on the ballot. 

Under the state constitution, initiatives to the Legislature “shall take precedence over all other measures in the Legislature except appropriation bills and shall be either enacted or rejected before the end of … regular session.”

Click here to learn more.


Contact us!

I hope you will stay in touch. I am interested in your thoughts about state government, and I hope you will contact my office.

I can be reached by phone at (360) 786-7602 and by email at It is an honor to serve as your voice in Olympia.