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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

It’s a very busy time as we get close to the end of the scheduled 60-day legislative session on March 7. The House and Senate have both passed their competing versions of the operating and transportation budgets. Those spending plans now go to conference committees to discuss differences between the two chambers. We expect to be voting on the final versions of all three spending plans, including the capital budget before the session ends.

Great input from 9th District virtual town hall

I wish to thank all of you who participated in the 9th District virtual town hall with me and my seatmate, Rep. Joe Schmick, on Thursday, Feb. 15. We had very good attendance and great input from many people who came on to ask questions. Topics ranged from the need for additional law enforcement, work on the state’s water quality, the six citizens’ initiatives, and much more. Your comments help us tremendously as we vote on bills that could potentially affect the 9th District.

Hearings scheduled on three citizens’ initiatives

After weeks of Republicans calling for public hearings on the six citizens’ initiatives to the Legislature, majority Democrats finally relented and will hold public hearings on three, beginning tomorrow, Feb. 27. Here’s the schedule:

Three other initiatives will not receive public hearings but will go directly to the ballot. They include:

It’s interesting to note from these last three initiatives that majority Democrats decided not to open public hearings on their burdensome tax policies that impose excessive taxation without representation.

Learn more about these initiatives on this website.

Why do majority Democrats want to turn Washington state into California?

California has soaring electricity rates. Average residential rates for investor-owned utility customers have surged by 72% to 127% over the past 10 years. Fuel prices in California are the highest in the nation at an average $4.58 a gallon, while the national average is $3.14. California is also the state that has the most unaffordable housing market and the second highest cost of living overall. And California policymakers just can’t seem to help themselves. Everything they touch related to energy markets ends in disaster and higher prices for their consumers.

With such a track record, why would Washington want to emulate California?

This is the question I asked in a recent opinion editorial to our local newspapers. You can read that here.

Unfortunately, the Democratic majority in Washington state seem to be enamored with California’s policies. They’ve passed legislation that adopts California motor vehicle standards, including transitioning to electric cars by 2035, a ban on natural gas in new construction on the west side of the Cascades. Now they want to link Washington’s carbon auction market to the cap-and-trade systems in California and Quebec.

This is a mistake. Linking our energy policy to one of the most expensive states in the nation would make Washington’s affordability crisis worse, not better. It could also hand over Washington’s energy policy decisions to California lawmakers — a very bad idea.

The House Environment and Energy Committee voted 9-6 Tuesday to advance the linkage measure, Senate Bill 6058 to the House floor. My House Republican colleagues and I voted unanimously against measure.

Other important environmental issues

Senate committees approve wild horse inmate training program bill

The Senate Ways and Means Committee today approved House Bill 2210. This measure, which I have authored, would direct the Washington Department of Corrections to conduct a feasibility study and develop a plan for implementing a wild horse training program at a state corrections center. The measure passed the House 95-2 on Feb. 14, and the Senate Human Services Committee on Feb. 20.

This is an idea I brought to the Legislature in 2020 after touring a very successful program at an Arizona state prison. The Arizona program involves as many as 30 inmates who train wild horses captured from public lands to control the Mustang population. The program gives inmates hands-on training in the equestrian field, helps them to build self-confidence as they care for the animals, and provides the opportunity for employable skills they can use upon release, including farrier certification. The recidivism rate for those inmates who have participated in the program and served their time is low. It also helps the Bureau of Land Management manage the horse population on public lands and keeps the ranges healthy.

The original bill passed the Legislature in 2020. But it fell victim to the governor’s vetoes of 147 bills to save money due to COVID.

House Bill 2210 now goes to the Senate Rules Committee where it will await being pulled to the Senate floor for a vote.

I work for you throughout the year

Even though the legislative session is ending in a few days, I want to remind you that I work for you throughout the year, not just when the Legislature is in session. I’m looking forward to returning home and meeting with folks across the district. If you wish to schedule a meeting, need a speaker, have questions about state government, or an idea for legislation, please contact my Olympia office. You’ll find my contact information below.

Thank you for the honor of allowing me to serve and represent you!


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