Newsletter: State Senate’s Hirst Fix, Inslee’s carbon tax

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Greetings Conservatives!



SJCRP Central Committee Meeting
February 10, 2018, 12 pm
@ Heritage Bank conference room in Friday Harbor

All conservatives are invited. This is the central planning body for the Republican Party in our county.

Kelley Unger introduces the Washington Policy Center:


Washington Policy Center (WPC) is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) research and educational organization that promotes sound public policy based on free-market solutions. They are a statewide organization headquartered in Seattle, with offices in Olympia, Spokane and the Tri-Cities.

WPC publishes studies, sponsors events and conferences and educates citizens on the vital public policy issues facing our region. WPC’s work regularly and seek out its policy experts for analysis and commentary. In addition, lawmakers routinely invite WPC to testify before legislative committees.

Through its research centers, Washington Policy Center focuses on seven core areas of public policy:

  • Education: The Center for Education works to improve Washington state’s ability to educate every child by giving parents, principals and teachers more control over the spending of public education dollars.
  • The Environment: The Center for the Environment brings balance to the environmental debate by promoting the idea that human progress and prosperity work in a free economy to protect the environment.
  • Government Reform: The Center for Government Reform’s works toward a government focused on its core functions while improving its effectiveness for taxpayers.
  • Health Care: The Center for Health Care develops patient-centered solutions to reduce costs and improve the availability of health care, providing the only detailed, independent critique of health care issues available in the Northwest.
  • Small Business: The Center for Small Business provides accurate information and analysis on the state’s regulatory climate, tax structure, health insurance systems, and more.
  • Transportation: The Center for Transportation researches and analyzes the best practices for relieving traffic congestion by recapturing a vision of a system based on freedom of movement.
  • Agriculture: WPC’s puts the knowledge and experience of those who work the land at the center of agriculture policy by using free-market incentives and local solutions.
Kelley Unger, Director of Development Operations, Discovery Institute 

Finally, through, WPC operates the premier website for tracking bills in Olympia, finding objective, plain-English summaries of legislation, and offering quick access to your legislators’ voting records. This is a great resource throughout the year, but is especially useful in the elections season when evaluating the past performance of current legislators.

WPC believes ideas, supported by sound research and promoted through publications, conferences and the media, over time, create an environment in which policymakers and citizens make sound public policy decisions. For more information and to subscribe to newsletters from the Washington Policy Center go to their website at

The full, unedited version of Ms. Unger’s article can be found on our webpage here. Ms. Unger is not affiliated with the Washington Policy Center. 

Local News:


OPALCO is looking for candidates to fill a board slot. (Journal). They also appointed Peter Garlock to fill OPALCO board vacancy (SounderIsland Guardian).

“San Juan County Land Bank secures over 280 acres in San Juan Valley.” (Journal reports.)

“Sen. Ranker and fellow Dems seek to protect state from Trump.” (Sounder).

For Orcas, Third hospital district town hall, Jan. 24, (Sounder).

“Starting in early April and into July, there will be delays as WSDOT contractor crews build two new roundabouts in the area of SR 20 and the SR 20 Spur.” (Island Guardian)

“The deadline for proposed amendments to the San Juan County Comprehensive Plan and Uniform Development Code (UDC) is 4:30 pm March 1, 2018.” (Island Guardian).

State and National News:


As you know, the government shut down on Friday. This is being discussed everywhere and anywhere, so I’m not sure I have a lot to add, except THE DEMOCRATS DID IT. Anyway, read about it on Fox News or USA Today.

This weekend members of our state party delegation are helping choose a new chairman for WA State Republican Party.

“A Senate committee is considering a bill that could bring an end to some of Washington state’s largest salmon farms.” (Journal)

Former Washington governor, King County executive John Spellman dies, (Seattle Times or Kitsap Sun).

“Salish Sea activists occupy the front steps of the state capitol.” (Journal reports).

  • Also from this article, “Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, plans to introduce the Salish Sea Protection Act that would fund oil spill prevention, update response plans if an oil spill happens, establish rescue tugboat efforts and coordinate emergency efforts with Canadian officials.”
  • Mandi Johnson’s editorial in the local paper was on this as well, “What we can do today to help the orcas.”
  • You can read more about it in the Island Guardian, which has a succinct summary.

The WA State Legislature passed a $4 billion construction budget and a water rights bill to deal with the effects of the Hirst decision, Bellingham Herald reports.

  • “The bill passed Thursday would spend $300 million over 15 years to restore and enhance watersheds while allowing counties to once again rely on Ecology to issue building permits for land with permit-exempt wells.”
  • “There were mixed reviews on the bill, which passed with a smattering of ‘no’ votes from both Republicans and Democrats.”
  • You can also read our local paper’s coverage here, drawn from an affiliate of the Journal.
  • Given that we discussed the Washington Policy Center in this issue, read their report on this issue here.

Governor Inslee also rolled out his plans for a state carbon tax. (Journal).

  • An editorial was in the Journal titled “County should call on Congress to pass Carbon Fee-and-Dividend legislation.” Anybody want to disagree with him?
  • Senator Ranker also commented on this in the Sounder: “Sen. Ranker comments on carbon tax proposal

The number of drivers in the state of Washington has reached over 1 million drivers, as the Seattle Times reports. In our county the increase is 50% more drivers over the age of 60 since 2010.

Jan 9th, Fed Judge blocked Trump’s move to end DACA program (Reuters) — inexplicably ruling that Trumps executive order can’t cancel Obama’s executive order, you know because Trump is bad and stuff. Kidding aside, what Trump was actually doing was insist that congress deal with this issue.

  • His (admittedly crude) comments after were widely misconstrued as applying to people rather than infrastructure. Also, consider this Peace Core member’s experience in Africa (link to American Thinker).

From the Jan  8th Seattle Times newsletter: “Voters in our state are most worried about schools and taxes, and they aren’t feeling too sunny about the chances of improvement on those issues, a new poll says as the Legislature returns today with two Seattle-area Democrats in new leadership roles. And how will the Dems use their majorities? The Senate’s majority leader shares her plans on our podcast, The Overcast.” Mcleary and Hurst still cast a long shadow.