More thoughts on the end of session

March 23, 2018

floorGreetings Friends and Neighbors,

What a difference one vote makes. Last year I was the 25th vote in the 49-member Senate, giving the Republicans the majority. Taxpayers were safe from the proposed income tax, carbon tax and mileage tax. All the anti-Second Amendment bills never saw the light of day.

With the change in the majority to the other party, by one vote, the floodgates have opened.

Last year we passed a bipartisan budget after much wrangling and compromise. But this year, after taxpayers gave the state over $2.3 billion of their hard-earned tax dollars more than was expected, Republicans never even got to see the budget. We fought to give you back $1 billion in property tax relief this year. The opposition’s shell-game budget diverted $700 million of your money from the constitutionally required savings account. They spent all of your money and gave you 60 percent less of a tax cut next year, when taxes are already going down. This “dangerous precedent,” as the state treasurer said, could result in higher interest on our bond payments, costing the taxpayers millions under the guise of lowering your taxes.

In the end, the carbon tax was barely defeated, which would have added 20-30 cents a gallon at the gas pump and $30-50 a month to your heating bill. There are never enough tax dollars. They spent all your tax money plus some of your savings.

In addition to bad budgeting, there were a number of bills affecting individuals’ moral principles, such as an abortion insurance mandate. The mandate forces individuals and companies to pay for the abortions of others. Ironically, I gave a freedom of choice speech on this issue. No matter how you feel about the controversial topic, no one should be forced to pay for something they don’t want. If you want abortion coverage, you can add it to your policy. Why force others, who may be morally opposed, to pay?

You can also now “rent a womb” under state law. In the past, women have volunteered to help other couples have a child by being a surrogate mother. There is grave concern that this could put low-income women at risk for human trafficking or coercion, with nowhere to turn. While the rest of the world is moving away from this practice, in our state you can now hire a woman to carry a child for you.

Keeping our Students Safe


One major piece of legislation was the Student Safety and Protection Act, Senate Bill 6622. My bill would require the same agency that trains our police to develop a standard response-training program that school districts can use to protect our children in an active-shooter situation. Some school districts in Washington are already allowing school staff to be armed and trained; we should ensure such training is standardized across that state. You would not hire a school administrator to fix your car. Why would you expect them to know the proper response in case of an active shooter?

Click here to see my press conference and numerous news stories on the proposal. You can also view my other videos on variety of topics by clicking here.

It’s an honor to serve as your state Senator. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office with any questions or concerns about your state government.


Fortunato Signature

Phil Fortunato,

Your 31st District State Senator


Due to election year restrictions, I will be limited in how I can communicate with you about what is going on in Olympia. Please be sure to subscribe to my newsletter if you already haven’t. You can also unsubscribe at anytime by clicking here. Feel free to share this with others that live in our district.

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Contact Me:

Mail: PO Box 40431 Olympia, WA 98504

Olympia Office: 201 Irv Newhouse Building Olympia, WA 98504

Phone: (360) 786-7660


Committee assignments

During the 2018 legislative session, I am serving on the Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee and the Senate’s Transportation Committee.

They can’t do anything simple

President Reagan notably said, “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” That plays out all the time in Olympia. Doing something simple for the people of our state turns out to be a complex maze of shell-games and gimmicks. Take property tax relief. We know that the House Democrat property taxis hurting retirees and families THIS YEAR. We had over $2 billion more coming to the state than expected and should have provided relief. However, the majority decided they needed to spend all the extra money you sent us and divert $700 million from the voter-approved rainy day fund to give you a small tax break NEXT YEAR, when property taxes are already going down.

How about Sound Transit’s outrageous car-tab taxes? Again, a simple fix to change the valuation schedule could have been done. Not only did they do NOTHING, one proposal actually would have increased the costs by charging you to get on a payment plan. Sometimes, government just needs to get out of the way.

Government guide

We have updated the 31st Legislative District government guide to make it easy for you to contact your federal, state and local officials. It’s a one-stop tool that gives you the phone numbers, emails and information you need for everything from schools and senior centers to members of Congress and the President.
You can access the online version of the guide anytime by clicking here or you can call my office for a physical copy while supplies last.

Let’s have coffee


Now that the legislative session is over, I want to meet with you.  Feel free to reach out to my office to schedule a time to grab coffee and talk.