By Peter Abbarno
20th District Rep. R-Centralia
Although legislators work all year long serving on committees, developing policies with staff, and drafting legislation, the official 2024 legislative session begins January 8, 2024 and lasts for 60- days. During the ‘short session”, many important issues will be considered, including the cost of gas, rise in crime, K-12 education, and much more. Because this is a condensed session, policy moves fast; I encourage you community to stay connected with your legislators and share your thoughts and opinions.
Last year, the Centralia- Chehalis Chamber of Commerce hosted monthly morning Zoom meetings with Senator John Braun, Representative Ed Orcutt, and myself. The meetings, beginning again in December, are great ways for you to meet with us and share your opinion, ask questions, and engage your 20th Legislative District legislators. Be sure to contact the Chamber at www.Chamberway.com to receive the dates and links for the meetings.
In addition to making myself available to the community in-person and virtually, surveys are a great ways to get feedback and learn more about what issues most important to you, your family, and your business. In September, I sent out the Fall 2023 legislative survey- which is still available at www. ReprsentativePeterAbbarno. com. As of late October, almost 300 constituents have responded to the survey and shared their stories.
So far. . .
Over 75% of constituents disapprove of the Climate Commitment Act (CCA) that created a cap & trade program resulting in increased gas costs.
Over 80% of constituents believe taxes in the State of Washington are too high.
The top-three tax relief solutions chosen by constituents were reducing or eliminating the gas tax, reducing property taxes, and expanding the working families tax credit.
I asked you what issues should be the first addressed by the Legislature in 2024 with constituents choosing tax relief, other issues, and a tie between addressing homelessness and creating safer communities.
The survey results reflect what we are all seeing at our kitchen tables. The second-highest cost of gas in the nation, and largest gas cost increase, have a regressive impact beyond just the pump. The increased cost of food, utilities, goods, and services are negatively impacting all of us; especially those households that can least afford the increased costs.
If you are interested in sharing your opinion, visit my legislative website at www. RepresentativePeterAbbarno. com to find the survey on my legislative website. Your opinion and stories matter to me and I want to hear from you.
It is an honor to represent the 20th Legislative District from Rainier in Thurston County trough Ridgefield in Clark County, and all my friends in Lewis County with the Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce. Please consider visiting www. RepresentativePeterAbbarno. com to learn more about the legislative process, share you opinions, and sign up for my E-mail updates.
Rep. Peter Abbarno represents the 20th Legislative District and is an attorney with Althauser Rayan Abbarno, LLP.