Spokane, WA

(Opinion) Spokane Democratic Senator More Concerned With Punishing Oil Companies Than Helping Residents

J.R. Heimbigner

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Democrats shot down a recent bill to suspend Washington State’s nation-leading gas tax last week. The State Senate Majority leader Andy Billig (D-Spokane) said this as to why:

"One of the reasons that I don't support the gas tax holiday is because there's research that shows that the biggest winners in a gas tax holiday are the oil companies who would make millions upon millions of dollars if we were to do that.”

His priority is clearly not Washington State residents as he is more concerned with punishing oil companies than he is about helping the average state resident.

The Average Washingtonian

The average resident in Washington on an hourly wage at state minimum ($14.49) makes $2,318.40 per month. Average rent costs in Washington State are $1,707.20 per month. This leaves a difference of $611.20 to live off of.

Now, while I understand some families have multiple people in the household making an income, these costs don’t account for utilities, insurance, and basic needs such as food.

If the average resident fills the gas tank only 10 gallons every other week, at the average Washington gas price ($4.738) that would mean a cost of $94.76 a month.

State Democrats are Punishing Residents Not Oil Companies

Refusing to find a way to reduce the current gas tax is a failure of the duty of the politicians who are supposed to represent us. Instead of working for us, they are more concerned about their agendas.

When it comes time to vote, many Washingtonians will not forget this disregard for their needs. Special circumstances are required in a time of need, and the state government has failed to stand up for its residents.

Three Things You Can Do To Help Yourself

  1. Rideshare: If you are forced to go to work, try and rideshare with your fellow employees. Pitch in for gas and try to drive at low volume times of the day.
  2. Public Transportation: Not all areas have excellent public transportation, however, if you live in one of the more urban areas in the state, try to take the bus more often.
  3. Work from home: I know, many businesses are bringing workers back in the office, but see if your employer will give you a break and let you continue to work from home.

While there might be other options out there, the best thing we can do is try and take control of how we get to work or spend. Most of all, when it comes time to vote, not to forget this or the disregard for the average resident and their livelihood.

What are gas prices in your area? What are you doing to combat rising prices?

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