OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington state lawmakers have wrapped up their second full week of the legislative session discussing some big topics, including possible new taxes and COVID-19 relief.
Capital gains tax
The move to create a new state tax has the backing of Washington state Speaker of the House Laurie Jinkins.
The Tacoma Democrat said establishing a capital gains tax, targeting the state’s top investment earners, will help the entire state recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Do people think that our small businesses need help in this economic situation that we're in? Do people think that we want to prevent mass evictions, once the eviction moratorium goes away?" asked Jinkins. "If your answer is yes, everything's fine. Don't do help for small business. Don't worry about evictions, don't worry about people going hungry. Don't worry about teachers, then I guess we don't need a capital gains tax."
COVID-19 relief package
State Senate Democrats Friday released plans for a relief package using nearly $2 billion in federal funding to provide rental assistance, business grants, and aid for those impacted by the disease and restrictions.
The state’s emergency savings account would also be tapped to generate $400 million in additional assistance.
Secretary of State Kim Wyman on the Republican party
Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman is not leaving the Republican party.
Wyman, the only statewide elected Republican on the West Coast, said criticism over the November election, threats sent to her office and elections officials, and the riot at the U.S. Capitol were actions that did not represent her party.
"What we saw on the sixth of January… that people can kind of lose perspective and go down a path, that is just not healthy for Americans to be venturing," said Wyman, "What we saw at our nation's capitol by the protesters was not Republicanism, it was not what my party is about."