March 15, 2023
This Issues Topics:
2023 Legislative Survey • Centralia • Chehalis • Community Survey • Lewis County • Peter Abbarno

One of my favorite quotes about surveys is “surveys show that surveys never lie.” And while that makes light of surveys, I do believe some surveys have merit and provide insight into our priorities. That is why each year I send out a survey via mail, e-mail, and on my website:

The latest survey was sent out to the 20th Legislative District in late-January and the responses are still coming. To date, here are some of those results from the over 400 responses.

Almost 90% of respondents believe the Legislature should pass legislation that makes it illegal to manufacture, distribute, and sell certain hard drugs.

Over 82% of respondents want the Legislature to use budget surpluses for property tax relief.
A large number of respondents, over 94%, don’t think the state is spending their tax dollars wisely, efficiently, and in a way that reflects their values, principles, and priorities.

A ranking of the most important issues “right now” reflects many of my own priorities.
They include:
1. Inflation and affordability of life.
2. Crime and feeling safe in my community.
3. Property tax relief.
4. My child’s education.
5. Health care and affordability.
6. Mental health services.
7. Homelessness and housing.
8. Restricting access to firearms.
9. Finding a job where I want to live.
10. Access to broadband internet.
11. Protecting the environment.
12.Replacing the I-5 Bridge across the Columbia River.

Regarding the long-term care and payroll tax, almost 75% of the respondents support a full repeal, 13% support fixing the program, 2% support no changes, and almost 10% are not sure about the program. For the second year, I introduced House Bill 1011 to repeal the unpopular long-term care payroll tax, a tax that workers will begin paying this summer.

Almost 79% of respondents opposed amending the state constitution to lower the vote threshold required to pass a school bond measure. School bonds are used to finance the construction and renovation of schools with taxpayers being obligated to pay off those bonds over years or even decades. Under the Washington State Constitution, all bond votes, including school bond measures, require a 60% majority vote for passage.

Legislators need to continue to hear from their communities about the issues important to them. The ideas and conversations I have with community members help guide policymaking, as well as bill development. Some of the best ideas for legislation come from meetings with my community.

It was a local family that came up with the idea to develop Zack’s Law, House Bill 1004, a bill named in honor of a Centralia High School student who drowned in the Chehalis River due to cold-water shock. It was tours of local fire districts and their facilities that helped me develop House Bill 1014, that creates a rural fire district grant program.

To participate in the survey, view survey results, learn how you can participate in the legislative process, and see the policies I support and developed to address your priorities, visit my Legislative website at

February BAH: Professional & Personal Services Shined

The February Business After Hours featured a variety of professional and personal services at Mint City Coffee Roasting’s newly opened coffee house.  The lively group of participating professionals offered an opportunity to become personally acquainted with an eclectic gathering of services.  The evening ended with a question answer session with roaster Kyle Askin.

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Once a month the Centralia-Chehalis Chamber offers an opportunity to hear directly from those who represent you about the issues they are working on, challenges they are facing, and help they need from us – the voters.

Senator John Braun along with Representatives Ed Orcutt and Peter Abbarno take time to update, answer questions and hear comments.  It’s a casual, supportive, and dare I say it…fun way to stay informed about things that actually matter to you, your family, and your business.

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