Washington State House Democrats


E-newsletter: Town Hall Review, the Budget, and ST3

Thanks for a successful town hall!

Sen. Patty Kuderer, Rep. Joan McBride, and I recently held a town hall at the Redmond City Council Chambers. We had over 100 constituents from across the district participate! It was an amazing opportunity to be able to talk directly with our constituents on the issues that matter most.

Audience questions touched on a range of important issues such as education funding and the impact of repealing the Affordable Care Act.

A sincere thank you to those who attended, and if you were unable to attend and have questions or comments please feel free to reach out!

Putting families first by investing in Washington’s Future

This week, the House Democrats unveiled our budget plan to fully fund education and continue to invest in a strong economy.

The House Democratic budget fully funds education by investing in our classrooms, in our teachers, and in our kids. Our budget invests $7.1 billion in additional dollars for our K-12 schools. We put that money toward investments that will put high-quality teachers in every classroom, give students the education they deserve, and keep our promise to fully funding education.

We’re also investing in a future that keeps Washington a great place to live, work, and raise a family. Our ‘families first’ budget makes key investments in early learning, higher education, critical human services, housing, civil legal aid, and quality care for our aging population and people with developmental disabilities population.

You can read more about our budget proposal here and here.

We have known all along that there wasn’t enough revenue to create an exceptional education system without cutting some or all of the critical state services mentioned above.

Our progressive revenue plan cuts taxes for families and businesses, while improving the fairness of our tax system to make these needed investments. You can read more about our revenue package here and here.

So what’s next? Now that both chambers have introduced budget and revenue plans, both sides will start negotiating a compromise solution to send to the Governor. I remain committed to supporting your values and the values of Washington throughout the negotiation process.

Additional information: House Democratic budget summary; House Democratic budget breakdown by agency; comparison between Senate and House budget proposals.

Sound Transit 3

As our economy grows, more and more people are moving to Washington. While economic growth benefits all Washingtonians, the increasing population causes traffic!

One effort to relieve the congestion is Sound Transit 3, the regional light rail expansion program. Last November, with 54% in favor, voters approved the initiative, which included a motor vehicle excise tax increase.

Over the past few weeks, car owners have been receiving their car tab renewals, many with a higher charge than in previous years. For many, this unexpected expense has caused frustration and for some, these fees could mean choosing between paying bills and registering their car.

House Democrats are working hard to balance the wishes of those who voted for ST3 and the needs of those who truly cannot afford these fees. My colleagues have introduced multiple pieces of legislation to offer relief and reform, including bills to lower costs to taxpayers by changing the way Sound Transit values cars, to allow for a rebate of up to 40 percent on car tab charges for low-income vehicle owners and on ST3 property tax charges for low-income homeowners, and to increase accountability by requiring information on the status and budget of Sound Transit projects be included when people renew their vehicle registration or pay their property taxes.

Here in the legislature, we will continue to work together to figure out how to improve the system and introduce more accountability without jeopardizing the funding of mass transit projects that people voted for and our state needs.

If you believe or have proof that your car is being valued incorrectly, call the Department of Licensing at 360-902-3770 or email customercare@dol.wa.gov.

Thank you for continuing to share your questions, comments and concerns. I look forward to hearing from you!

Many thanks for all you do,


Rep. Vandana Slatter