BOISE, Idaho — Legislation is causing frustration at the Idaho statehouse, but this time, it's a bill from the state of Washington that has lawmakers irritated.
Washington's lawmakers are proposing a 6-cent per gallon tax on fuel exported from the “Evergreen State," which would have impacts on its neighbors, Alaska, Oregon and Idaho.
“The northwest should stick together. We have so much in common, we are one big market and we shouldn’t look for reasons to retaliate or to make other states pay for their services, it's just not right,” Speaker of the House Scott Bedke said.
Bedke said Idahoans could start paying more at the pump, and the state of Washington is to blame. Idaho lawmakers and officials are not the only one’s speaking out against the legislation.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown took to Twitter stating this legislation is unacceptable.
I spoke with @GovInslee today and made very clear that Washington taking unilateral action to increase gas prices for Oregon families and businesses is unacceptable.— Governor Kate Brown (@OregonGovBrown) February 18, 2022
“This is the first time in years that we’ve agreed with the governor of Oregon. They are all up in arms, the state of Alaska as well," Bedke said. "Everyone is looking for ways to retaliate on the state of Washington so that’s why it's against the Commerce Clause. We ironed these things out years ago.”
The Idaho House passed a joint memorial, which is essentially a letter to Congress requesting Washington Governor Jay Inslee to oppose and veto the proposed tax on fuel exports.
Gov. Brad Little and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden also sent a letter to Inslee asking him to stop the bill.
“So, is legal action the plan if this does make it all the way through?" Idaho news 6 reporter Nicole Camarda asked Bedke.
"I'm more comfortable with that than trying to find a way to retaliate,” Bedke said. "I think most of us are still kind of about half flabbergasted that they would even do this, but having said that, they are doing it and the bill is moving and we’ll push back.”
The proposed Washington tax is a part of $16.8 billion transportation revenue package.