Washington lawmakers return to Olympia Monday for its legislative session with a new slate of agendas.

Stuart Elway heads the recently released Crosscut-Elway Poll for Washington.

He says the top concern for voters in Central and Eastern Washington is no surprise.

"The economy was the top. It was actually above the state average of people naming the economy. Public safety was second. And then taxes were third." Elway said.

The current state budget is around $64 billion dollars. State projections are that the state will have about $70 billion in revenue over the next budget year.

About a quarter of those polled want to see $6 billion in additional revenue go to current programs. Elway says voters on the east side of the cascades would like to see the money go elsewhere.

"There was 30-percent who said use that money to cut taxes. That was the highest of any region in the state" Elway added.

On the other hand, voters want legislators to leave COVID-19 off their agendas.

"Covid was at 2%. Two years ago, it was 52%." Elway said.

Meantime Governor Jay Inslee is pushing a bill to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035. Elway says 54% of voters in the state oppose that measure.

"In Eastern Washington, an even stronger feeling. 60% were opposed to that." Elway added.

The new poll also shows support for legislation banning the sale or transfer of most semiautomatic rifles. 57% are in favor while 39% opposed.

The Crosscut/Elway Poll touts itself as a poll with a 5% margin of error at the 95% confidence level. 403 registered voters were polled between December 27th and 29th.


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