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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Season’s greetings! I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas and were able to enjoy time with your friends and family as we did on our Pomeroy farm.

We are truly blessed to live in the 9th District in the great state of Washington. I am so honored to serve and represent you and be your voice at the state Capitol!

The coming 2024 legislative session

It is amazing to think that, already, we are beginning a new year, and with that, a new legislative session commencing Monday, Jan. 8.

This year’s session is only 60 days in length, as opposed to odd-numbered years when we meet in Olympia for 105 days. While our 2024 session is primarily focused on passing supplemental budgets for the operating, transportation, and capital budgets to fill in any financial gaps remaining in the biennial fiscal cycle, there will be plenty of other issues under debate during this short session.

I wanted to take this opportunity to provide a brief preview of those issues and our priorities for the coming session.

9th District 2024 session preview

Recently, my seatmates, Sen. Mark Schoesler and Rep. Joe Schmick, joined with me in mailing a newsletter to people across the district outlining our legislative priorities. You may have already received your newsletter by postal mail. However, you can also read it online here. Our printed newsletter provides a well-rounded look at issues we will be promoting on your behalf in the 2024 session.

Carbon Auction Rebate (CAR) bill seeks to provide Washington vehicle owners with relief from high gasoline prices

On Tuesday, Rep. April Connors, R-Kennewick, and I introduced House Bill 2040, also known as the Carbon Auction Rebate (CAR) program, seeks to provide rebates to Washington motorists suffering from our state’s high gas prices.

This past summer, for the first time, Washington surpassed California for the first time for the highest gasoline price in the nation. With the summer travel season behind us, our gasoline prices have fallen, but they are still much higher than our surrounding states. The average price for gasoline in Washington, according to AAA, is $4.145 for regular, as opposed to the national average of $3.122. That means, compared to the national average, our fuel prices are more than a dollar higher per gallon. Idaho motorists are paying $3.216 and prices in Oregon are $3.810.

Gov. Inslee blames oil companies for the higher prices. But we have some of the highest gas prices because of the state’s Climate Commitment Act (CCA), or the cap-and-trade program that took effect Jan. 1, 2023. See the chart below. . .

These higher prices equate to about $500 for the average Washington family per year. This year’s carbon auctions under the cap-and-trade program have netted Washington more than $1.3 billion — three times more than originally projected. That’s money you and I and our families are paying out to the state in the form of higher costs for gasoline, groceries and other necessities. Rep. Connors and I feel it’s time to give some of that money back.

Under our bill, Washington’s 6.8 million registered vehicle owners would receive a $180 rebate check — or up to $360 per two-car family in July 2024. The CAR bill would not affect the CCA. The same regulated entities would face the same emissions cap, and carbon credit auctions would not change. It would not disrupt investments already made by the Legislature in previous sessions using CCA revenue. It simply puts money back in the pockets of Washington motorists and families who have borne the high cost of fuel as the result of the governor’s cap-and-trade program.

Learn more:

Other 2024 session priorities

My House Republican colleagues and I have been working on real solutions for the coming 2024 session to address the issues facing our state, including reducing your cost of living, making our communities safer, and building a better future by providing for K-12 education, expanding child care opportunities and improving our state’s infrastructure (highways, roads, bridges, etc.).

In addition, I am working on a variety of bills. Here are some of my priorities for the 2024 session:

  • We must make the agriculture fuel exemption from cap-and-trade effective. This is a measure, , I co-sponsored this critically important bill (House Bill 1780) last year with Rep. Schmick. We will continue to push it for its passage this session.
  • Improve Puget Sound water quality (House Bill 1365) and create salmon-safe communities (House Bill 1381). These proposals would be more effective toward preserving and protecting our salmon than the misguided approach of removing vital Snake River dams.
  • Sen, Schoesler and I were instrumental in securing state funding in the Senate and House Capital Budget committees to replace groundwater in the Odessa Subaquifer with delivery systems that connect water supplies to east Columbia Basin farms. In total, nearly $73 million in federal and state dollars were secured in the past year for this project. We will continue working to build on this success as it is vital for irrigation and drinking water supplies in nearly a dozen Columbia Basin communities.
  • I will continue to seek passage of House Bill 1270 that would create a new Washington State Commission on Boys and Men tasked to address the well-being of boys, male youth and men across the state.

Stay engaged and in touch!

As a wheat farmer in the Palouse, I know how hard the people of the 9th District work to pay the bills, raise their families and enjoy life in our corner of the world. Government should not make these tasks more difficult. I’m working for lower taxes, to keep government off our backs, and to foster a better Washington for us and our families. However, I need your help and your input.

As the 2024 legislative session gets underway on Jan. 8, please be sure to stay engaged and keep in touch with my office. You can call, email or write to me. My contact information can be found at the bottom of this email update.

Below are some websites that will help you stay informed about what is happening in Washington state government throughout the year.

  • My legislative website: You will find my contact information, bio, news releases, email updates, opinion pieces, bills, and other information.
  • How you can be involved in the legislative process: This includes a citizen’s guide to effective legislative participation.
  • TVW: The state’s own version of C-SPAN, TVW broadcasts floor and committee action live online.
  • The Ledger: A legislative news aggregator that is updated frequently.
  • Capitol Buzz: Sent out each weekday, featuring stories from media outlets throughout the state, including newspaper, radio, and television.

Happy New Year to you and your family! Thank you for the honor of allowing me to serve and represent you in 2024!


Mary Dye

State Representative Mary Dye, 9th Legislative District
432 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7942 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000