Home stretch of the 2018 legislative session

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Update from Olympia

With just one week left in the 2018 legislative session, I wanted to update you on Sound Transit, the mass shootings task force, an upcoming telephone town hall, and public records.

Mass shootings task force

My office has received many emails and phone calls regarding gun safety. I am pleased the Senate adopted my request to create a first-ever task force to develop strategies for identifying and intervening against potential perpetrators of mass shootings. In Florida, there was more than enough evidence provided to law enforcement, mental health professionals, school officials and others that the perpetrator owned a firearm and was a grave threat, yet no action was taken. This task force will also look at ways to educate the public about the availability of extreme risk protection orders.

It is my intention that the task force pay special attention to mental health issues, which are the common link to most of the recent mass shootings, school safety, and strategies used in other states to identify and intervene in time to avert mass shootings.

Telephone town hall

On Monday, March 12Rep. Muri and I will be hosting a telephone town hall to give you an end-of-session update. More information will be provided as we get closer to the date.


video

Click here to watch my video on why it's so important to lower property and car-tab taxes


Legislative Public Records Act

Last week the Legislature passed SB 6617 to exempt itself from much of the Public Records Act. I voted against the bill, but it passed nonetheless. Last night the governor vetoed the bill and there will not be an effort to override his veto.  Members of the legislature will continue to work together to make appropriate records public.

Car tab tax

Sound Transit update

One of my top priorities this legislative session has been to hold Sound Transit accountable and get taxpayers real car-tab tax relief. Despite my efforts to work across the aisle, my bills did not make it out of the Transportation Committee.

Instead, Senate Bill 5955, sponsored by my friends across the aisle, passed out of the Senate this week, but frankly offers meager relief to taxpayers, about $40 per car tab tax payers. Moreover, SB 5955 would not refund any overpaid taxes from 2017 and 2018, but provide taxpayers “credits” toward future car-tab fees, and likely only for taxpayers who learn of the credit and apply for it. 

On the floor of the Senate, I introduced amendments to SB 5955 to offer real taxpayer relief. My amendments would have established a vehicle valuation based on market values -- Kelley Blue Book -- and cut the tax by 55 percent, force accountability and transparency on Sound Transit by directly electing board members, and require Sound Transit get voter approval if it plans to spend more than the $54 billion approved by voters in 2016.

Unfortunately, these common sense amendments were not adopted by the Senate and it now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration. This bill is dressed up as tax relief but in reality is designed to protect Sound Transit, not taxpayers.

I will continue to fight for real tax relief and to hold Sound Transit accountable. If you have concerns about this bill or any others, please contact my office.

March 2, 2018

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Office Phone:
360-786-7654

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Address:
102 Newhouse Building
P.O. Box 40428
Olympia, WA 98504-0428

Car Tab

Are your car-tab fees too high?

We want to hear from you! If you received your car-tab bill in the mail and your fees have drastically increased and you're willing to share your story, contact my office at (360) 786-7374 or email me at steve.oban@leg.wa.gov

28th Legislative District

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