It never stops: Another $1 Billion Tax Proposal

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106 Newhouse Building ● P.O. Box 40404 ● Olympia WA 98504-0404

Report from Olympia |  Jan. 31, 2020

It never stops: Another $1 Billion Tax Proposal

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

We are now well into the 2020 legislative session. There was plenty of activity this week, including hearings and voting on bills in committees, as well as some time voting on a handful of bills on the floor of the Senate chamber.

One of the bills that was subject to the most debate this week was Senate Bill 6492. Despite continuing record tax collections by state government (approximately $1 billion in growth since last session alone), the majority introduced this measure to raise taxes on job creators by an additional $1 billion.

The bill is a reworking of a measure that was passed on the final day of the 2019 session but was so poorly drafted that it was basically unworkable. This year’s bill will actually raise even more money (again, $1 billion over 4 years compared to $773 million over 4 years with last year’s bill).    

Members on our side of the aisle attempted to shield many businesses that can least afford the higher tax. My colleagues proposed eliminating the tax increase on pharmacists, businesses owned by veterans, mental-health providers, dental practices, nursing and residential care facilities, veterinarians, and domestic-violence treatment and counseling services.

I tried to exempt substance abuse-disorder treatment providers from the increase.

Again and again, the majority Democrats said no, arguing that their 17% tax increase on job creators is actually a cut, because it is less than the 20 % tax hike they approved last year (and repealed only because it couldn’t be collected effectively). Really?! How about some actual tax relief?   

Thanks to those who have taken the time to contact me about issues, like tax relief, that are important to you. If you have any questions, concerns or ideas to improve government, please let me know. I’m here to fight for you and be your voice!

Thank you for the honor of serving as your state senator.


Senator Mike Padden

Legislative Update:

Hearing held on my foster-care bill


Robyn Nance, who anchors Good Morning Northwest on KXLY, testified from Spokane Valley on Senate Bill 6500 and her experience as a foster-care home provider. Click the image above to view the hearing.

On Wednesday, the Senate Human Services, Reentry and Rehabilitation Committee held a public hearing on Senate Bill 6500. My measure would allow foster-home licensees who move to a new location and have no children placed in their care at the time of the move to maintain their license under certain conditions.

At least 46 foster homes were closed between 2017 and 2019 due to the licensee's failure to notify the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families of a change in residence within 30 days of relocation.

This is an administrative fix that will help us address some of the lack of foster-care homes, while also making sure that we properly evaluate providers so that they can do the job.

Robyn Nance, one of my constituents, has a great record as a foster-care home provider, but inadvertently failed to notify DCYF when she sold her home. She testified on the bill remotely from Spokane Valley and shared her experience.

Click here to watch the full hearing on the bill.

Click here to view KXLY's story on the hearing.

In the News:

Trade organizations enthusiastic about Washington bill to exempt supplements from taxes

By Hank Schultz, NutraIngredients-USA | Jan. 24, 2020

A bill introduced this week in the Washington State Senate would exempt dietary supplements from state sales and use taxes. The bill was introduced by GOP State Sen. Mike Padden, who represents an eastern Washington district that includes Spokane Valley. The bill was cosponsored by fellow Republicans Judith Warnick, Randi Becker and Lynda Wilson, as well as Democrat Sen. Bob Hasegawa.

…Dan Fabricant, PhD, president and CEO of the Natural Products Association, said in a statement that the proposal mirrors much of his organization’s thinking on helping Americans to afford this low cost and effective form of self-care. “We love this idea.”

Click here to read the full article.

Meet Senate Page Madison Bradley

Week 3 Page

Tenth-grader Madison Bradley of Colbert served as a Senate page this week; she was one of 20 students from across the state who came to Olympia for the third week of our 2020 legislative session.

Madison, the 16-year old daughter of Meghan and Scott Bradley, attends Mt. Spokane High School, where she is in her high school marching band and enjoys judo.

She really enjoyed the great atmosphere and fast pace of working in the marble halls of the Legislative Building, and we really enjoyed having her page this week.

Our page program is a great opportunity for students to learn about government first-hand. While all of our slots are filled for this short session, you can click here to learn more about the Senate Page Program and how to help a young person apply next session.

DUI bill approved by Law and Justice Committee


Members of the state Senate Law and Justice Committee unanimously voted to advance my bill to extend the “look-back” in DUI cases, allowing courts to consider convictions over the preceding 15 years when preparing to hand down a sentence.

Senate Bill 5299 would allow more repeat offenders to be sentenced to prison terms. Washington makes the fourth DUI conviction a felony, but under current law, courts may consider only convictions within the last 10 years.

If I had my choice, there would be no look-back period. We know repeat offenders pose the greatest danger on our roads and highways, and those with a history of repeat offenses are far more likely to be involved in the deadliest cases of vehicular assault.

We must lay down the law, end the scourge of impaired driving and stop this completely preventable loss of life.

Click here to read my full release on this topic.

From the District:

The Family Impact Network

Family Impact Network

It’s always a pleasure to meet with constituents when they visit Olympia.

On Wednesday, members of our community stopped by the office with social service providers from the family Impact Network. FIN provides resources and services to vulnerable children and families to transition from crisis to healing and stability. It operates in eight counties in Eastern Washington.  

Mandated through state legislation, FIN operates a “performance-based” contracting system to ensure that the right services are provided at the right time. As they explained to me in our meeting, FIN uses state resources with the goal of allowing children to remain safely at home whenever possible, and for those who have been removed, to allow them to be safely reunified with their families.

This focus on outcomes, rather than on money alone, is a great model for the rest of government.

If you plan to be in Olympia, please don’t hesitate to stop by and say hello.

Contact us!

If you have a question or concern about state government, please do not hesitate to contact our office. We are here to serve you!

Phone: (360) 786-7606

Street address: 106 Irv Newhouse Building, Capitol Campus, Olympia, WA 98504

Postal address: PO Box 40404, Olympia, WA 98504

Email address:

PLEASE NOTE: Any email or documents you provide to this office may be subject to disclosure under RCW 42.56. If you would prefer to communicate by phone, please contact Sen. Padden's office at (360) 786-7606.

To request public records from Sen. Padden, please contact Randi Stratton who is the designated public records officer for the Secretary of the Senate and Senate members.