If you think it is expensive now to commute, wait until the Democrats’ fee increases on drivers’ licenses and plates begin and new “energy” fees hit the pumps in the coming weeks.
The evidence is clear. As President Joe Biden considers suspending the federal gas tax of 18.3 cents a gallon, we have two items on how the Governor Jay Inslee and Democrat legislators have severely increased the cost of driving in Washington State.
1) When the Democrats passed their $17 billion transportation package during the 2022 legislative session, Senate Democrat Transportation Chair Marko Liias (Edmonds) falsely proclaimed it was done “without punting the cost to working families.” As Washington State’s working families will begin to find out next week, the legislation (SB 5974) the Democrats passed has significantly increased the cost of dozens of fees which will hurt lower- and moderate- income households the hardest.
Many Washington State families are already struggling financially due to liberal inflationary policies and the skyrocketing price of gas, yet Democrats have ignored their difficulties. Below is the list of additional fees (along with implementation date) that Senator Liias, his fellow Democrat legislators, and Governor Inslee have imposed to make it more expensive to live in Washington State – all while denying they are “punting” the costs to others:
- Enhanced driver’s license fee (6 years) – 75% increase ($24 to $42) (10/1/22)
- Enhanced driver’s license fee (8 years) – 75% increase ($32 to $56) (10/1/22)
- Enhanced Identicard fee (6 years) – 75% increase ($24 to $42) (10/1/22)
- Enhanced Identicard fee (8 years) – 75% increase ($32 to $56) (10/1/22)
- Original license plate fee – 400% increase ($10 to $50) (7/1/22)
- Replacement license plate fee – 200% increase ($10 to $30) (7/1/22)
- Original motorcycle license plate fee – 400% increase ($4 to $20) (7/1/22)
- Replacement motorcycle license plate fee – 200% increase ($4 to $12) (7/1/22)
- Dealer temporary permit fee – 166% increase ($15 to $40) (7/1/22)
- License photo only fee – 100% increase ($10 to $20) (10/1/22)
- Stolen vehicle check fee – 400% increase ($15 to $75) (7/1/22 & 7/1/26)
The 2022 transportation package was the first one passed in state history that was not bi-partisan, as Democrat legislators and Governor Inslee chose to go their own tax-and-fee raising ways. They ignored Republican proposals to use existing surplus revenues and move taxes already collected on the sale of new vehicles into the transportation budget to fund infrastructure construction projects. The Democrats’ transportation package is yet more proof that the Democrats top priority is to selfishly increase the size of state government, despite it already doubling in size during the nine years Governor Inslee has been in office. (Washington State Senate Democrat Caucus media release, Washington Legislature Bill Summary, and Washington State House Republican Caucus media release)
2) In new analysis from the respected and non-partisan Washington Research Council, we have the latest estimates as to how much Governor Inslee’s “Cap and Trade” legislation will increase the cost of gas in the coming months. The research reveals that Washington State residents can expect gas prices to jump an additional 45.6 cents a gallon in the coming months (diesel will increase 57 cents per gallon) due solely to the Cap and Trade legislation (SB 5126) passed by the Democrats in 2021. The analysis finds that in the next 10 years the price of gas will rise 74.1 cents per gallon (diesel will increase 90.5 cents).
The funds collected by the state in from the Cap and Trade legislation are part of the Democrats’ $17 billion transportation package. As House Transportation Committee Ranking Republican Representative Andrew Barkis (Olympia) stated, “It’s disingenuous for the majority party to imply this package isn’t going to raise the cost of living on every Washingtonian. Besides the new taxes and fees that are included, a large portion of the intended revenue comes from the Climate Commitment Act passed in 2021.” (Washington Research Council analysis, Washington Legislature Bill Summary, and Washington State House Republican Caucus media release)
We are reposting a link to an excellent article written by Federal Way Police Chief Andy Hwang which provides a concise recap of public safety legislation passed by the 2022 legislature. The lawmakers were attempting to fix the many problems created by the Democrats’ passage of their 2021 anti-police legislation. The column also outlines what still needs to be done to correct the Democrats’ reckless 2021 actions, when they caved into demands of violent liberal rioters, which has since resulted into skyrocketing crime rates across Washington State. We were reminded of this article by a Facebook post from last week’s Newsmaker Interview Casey Jones, who is a Republican House candidate in the 30th Legislative District and a regional SWAT Team commander.
Chief Hwang expressed his frustration that the Democrats refused to fix police pursuit laws and failed to correct legislation which made it legal to possess such harmful drugs as fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. Regarding the failure of the Democrat legislators to pass SB 5919, which would have fixed the state’s pursuit laws, the chief wrote, “I am disappointed and concerned that state law continues allowing criminals to avoid apprehension, often without consequence, by simply driving away. The intentional lack of action by the legislature will continue to embolden criminal behavior, increase crime, and cause an overall reduction in public safety.” (Federal Way Mirror, Friends for Casey Jones Facebook page, Casey Jones Newsmaker Interview, and Washington Legislature Bill Summary)
Fentanyl, one of the many harmful drugs Democrats made legal to possess, is causing an explosion in overdose deaths in King County. In 2021, there was a dramatic 133% increase over the previous year in the number of fentanyl related deaths with 396 overdoses. Often the drug users are unaware that the deadly substance is in the meth, heroin, or cocaine they are using. A small amount of fentanyl is enough to kill most people. (KIRO Radio)
Construction flaws at a number of South Seattle Sound transit stations will need to be fixed this summer, causing delays in service in these areas. After only a few years, tiles at the light rail platforms are prying loose at the Columbia City, Othello, and Rainier Beach stations. To allow work crews to fix the problem, train service will be reduced by 50% over a four-week period this summer. This is the latest of many operational problems for Sound Transit, which promised voters they could build the latest phase of a regionwide light rail system for $54 billion. Current cost estimates are over $130 billion, and it is only five years into a 25-year construction schedule. If you recall, last summer a dozen escalators were broken at four downtown Seattle transit stops. (Seattle Times)
Violent crime continues to impact the Puget Sound region, as four more individuals were murdered during the last 24 hours. Two men were killed and another injured in a shooting in Everett on Monday afternoon. A man and a woman were killed next to a playground in Wallingford, a Seattle residential neighborhood, early Tuesday morning. Police have not identified any suspects in either crimes. (MyNorthwest)
Last week four Kitsap County judges unanimously ruled that breathalyzers used to determine blood alcohol content in Driving Under the Influence cases did not meet state admissibility rules, which could throw out hundreds of current DUI cases across Washington State. The judges also noted that the state knew the equipment, manufactured by Drager, was not in compliance with state laws and had “submitted false or misleading testimony” in tens of thousands of cases where Drager’s breathalyzer provided the blood alcohol content evidence used to convict a suspected drunk driver. (Centralia Chronicle/CenterSquare)
Ethics complaints against current liberal Spokane City Council President Breean Briggs and former liberal Council President Ben Stuckart continue to move forward. The complaints are unrelated, but both deal with actions surrounding homeless shelters in Spokane.
The complaint against Council President Briggs involves accusations he made public information regarding the city’s evaluation of bids for a shelter operator before the process was complete. This forced Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward to throw out all previous work completed by the city and start the process all over again. The Spokane Ethics Commission is expected to take up the complaint at its next meeting.
The accusations against former Council President (and 2019 candidate for Spokane Mayor) Ben Stuckart stem from his involvement as the chair of the Continuum of Care board and was filed by current Spokane City Councilmember Jonathan Bingle. While Stuckart did not vote in determining who would be selected as the operator of a homeless shelter, he was involved in the process, which violates the board’s rules. Stuckart had not informed others on the board that he would receive a $151,000 salary from Jewels Helping Hands if that group was selected in the process. This ethics complaint is currently being investigated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Ben Stuckart and his supporters have a long history of ethics complaints. (CenterSquare and Shift Article)
Overheard in the Interwebs...
Support Shift's 2022 Election Coverage
Do you like The Daily Briefing?
Please consider making a contribution to ensure Shift continues to provide daily updates on the shenanigans of the liberal establishment and provides you inside coverage of the 2022 elections which includes exclusive interviews with top candidates.
Forward this to a friend. It helps us grow our community and serve you better.
If you feel we missed something that should be covered, email us at [email protected].