Despite a storm of opposition from Republicans, and nearly 3 1/2 hours of floor debate, the Washington State House of Representatives passed House Bill (HB) 1110, which would create a carbon tax in our state, raising gas prices as much as $.19 cents per gallon. The measure passed late Tuesday.

According to House Republicans, the tax will hurt lower income and middle income families the most. A host of GOP Reps spoke against it, at least six spoke in strong words from their constituents.

Rep. Tom Dent, who represents Grant County and Moses Lake, is himself a rancher. He said:

“And this is going to hurt my district. And the people. My phone has been sitting here this evening with texts coming from my constituents saying, ‘This is ridiculous. We can’t have this. We can’t go there. We can’t do this!’”

Rep. Chris Corry, who represents the Yakima area said:

“This is a regressive tax. It’s going to cost our low- and middle-income families more money. And that is not right. We shouldn’t be doing that. They are stretched enough.”

In the end, 2 Democrats crossed over and voted with Republicans against the measure, but it still passed by a vote of 53 yes and 43 no.

Rep. Jeremie Dufault, a Yakima native who represents Yakima County along with Corry, went as far as to say what the House did was betray the trust of the Washington state voter:

“That is a breach of trust with the folks who we represent, Mr. Speaker. And I ask that we vote no on that provision alone.””

The bill will now move on to the State Senate for further action, with the Democrats holding a one vote margin but controlling most of the committees, it's possible this cold pass.

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