Monthly Archive: January 2020

House Passes Fuel Increase with Low-Carbon Mandate!

House Democrats recently passed controversial legislation that would raisefuel prices upwards of 60 cents per gallon! The low-carbon fuel standard mandate House Bill 1110 passed on a 52-44 vote after a lengthy floor fight.

The passage of a low-carbon fuel mandate and increase in fuel prices on working families and small businesses is further evidence of how out of touch Olympia and Seattle politicians are with the rest of the state. The potential of a 60 cent per gallon increase is devastating to working families and disproportionately penalizes rural Washingtonians.

Peter Abbarno, Centralia Mayor Pro Tem

House Bill 1110 authorizes the state Department of Ecology to create a clean fuels program and additional rules and regulations to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels per unit. This comes on the heels of another transportation scheme to increase the cost to working families and small businesses called the “Road Usage Charge!”

House Democrats vote to increase fuel!

According to the Puget Sound Regional Transportation Fuels Analysis Final Report from September 2019, the new program could:

  • raise the cost of gas by up to 57 cents per gallon by 2030;
  • raise the cost of diesel by up to 63 cents per gallon by 2030;
  • result in job losses; and
  • reduce Gross Regional Product.

The legislation and fight moves to the State Senate. Interested parties opposing the increase are encouraged to contact their State Senators at to oppose SB 5412

There are many unintended consequences to punishing tax increases on working families and small businesses; including the cost of groceries, goods, and services. This is misguided policy and will do nothing to lift families out of poverty, create jobs, encourage business growth, or make a significant impact in the quality of life for Washingtonians.

Peter Abbarno, Centralia Mayor Pro Tem

City of Centralia Helps Property Owners Replace Sidewalks

On Tuesday, the City of Centralia gave the go-ahead to Centralia Public Works Director Kim Ashmore to renew the city’s sidewalk repair program. The program, which has not been active in the City for many years, will pay one-half of the cost to repair certain sidewalk projects that would have otherwise been the sole responsibility of the property owners.

We have all seen sidewalks in our community that pose a significant danger to walkers and runners. Some of the sidewalk repairs are squarely the responsibility of the city and others fall on the shoulders of the property owner; which can be very costly. Rather than put the burden on the property owner alone, the City wants to help make our city sidewalks safer and more accessible. This program helps significantly.

Peter Abbarno, Centralia Mayor Pro Tem

Revenue raised from the existing Transportation Benefit District (TBD) Funds will be used towards these citizen driven projects to pay labor, materials and equipment used in the repair of sidewalks.

Aplications will be available at City Hall and online at Once received, city staff will, assess the project and its cost. According to Mr. Ashmore, a number of private and commercial property owners have contacted the Department of Public Works interested in the program.

Infrastructure, street, and sidewalk improvements are very important to the safety and quality of life in our community. Citizen driven collaborative programs like this will help the City identify and fix trouble spots much quicker. I know there will be many property owners, as well as pedestrians, interested in this program.

Accessible and Inclusive sidewalks and streets has been an important issue of mine since joining the City Council. I am very happy to support this collaborative approach to solving accessibility issues.

Peter Abbarno, Centralia Mayor Pro Tem

Universal Basic Income May Come to Washington State

State Senators Nguyen and Lovelett want to give some people $500.00 as part of their “Universal Basic Income” pilot project in Washington State.

The Bill, SB 6625, would give $500 If you are 18 or older and on government assistance and the $12,000.00 per year SHALL NOT be considered for the means testing used for eligibility for other programs. Persons eligible would be eligible for all the same programs and state benefits with an extra $12,000.00, which would not be considered for the means testing on existing or newly created social programs.

Peter Abbarno in front of his law office, Althauser Rayan Abbarno, in downtown Centralia.

Senate Bill 6625 mimics many of the policies adopted by Democrat Presidential Candidates like Kamala Harris and Andrew Yang. Universal Basic Income only perpetuates poverty and does nothing to open the door to opportunity, teach work ethic, or deliver fiscal responsibility. There is a false premise that a “Universal Basic Income” program is free. It is not free for working families and small businesses.

Peter Abbarno, Centralia City Mayor Pro Tem

According to think tank, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, it is estimated that a universal basic income plan slightly less generous than Yang’s would cost the federal government between $30 trillion and $40 trillion over 10 years. According to Crosscut, Senator Nguyen said his 500-person pilot program would come with a much smaller price tag: more like $7 million over the state’s two-year budget cycle.

There are many disadvantages to the idea of a Universal Basic Income; especially as presented by Senator Nguyen. Most notably

  • There won’t be an increased standard of living because of inflated prices;
  • Free income may disincentive people to get jobs; making work appear optional; and
  • Free income to some puts a greater financial burden on working families.
Centralia attorney Peter Abbarno joins AWB Government Affairs Director Clay Hill to testify in opposition to Senate Bill 5129, which would increase taxes on employers. (Photo: Brian Mittge/AWB)

Free income is not “free”! There is a substantial cost to working families who are paying taxes and small businesses- like mine- that are paying taxes. This is a redistribution of wealth scheme that punishes creativity, innovation, and hard work. There are better ways to give a hand up and teach self-sufficiency than free income which is a hand out that only teaches reliance on government.

Peter Abbarno, Centralia City Mayor Pro Tem
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State Senate Passes Mandatory Sex Education Bill

On Wednesday, January 22, Senate Bill 5395, which requires public schools to offer sex education in kindergarten through Grade 12. The legislation passed the Senate 28-21 along party lines with Democrats voting in favor and Republicans voting against.

A recent Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) survey of 10,000 parents found that 58% opposed mandatory sex education for K-12 students. Despite the opposition, the bill passed and was referred to the House Education committee.

The issue of sex education should be left to local school boards in conjunction with local families. Olympia continues to pass legislation that erodes local control and family decision making. We should be encouraging families to be part of the process and the discussion on a local level. Our communities are not “one size fits all!”

This issues is more complex than “pro” and “con.” This is an issue of “Who” and “When”. I am choosing our families and my community first! I encourage all my neighbors to reach out to their elected officials and urge them to vote against this legislation in the house.

Peter Abbarno, Centralia City Councilmember

Senate Bill 5395 would do the following:

  • Requires every public school to provide comprehensive sexual health education that meets certain requirements.
  • Directs public schools to use review tools when choosing sexual health education curricula that is not on a list developed by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
  • Requires school districts to annually report the curricula used to provide comprehensive sexual health education.

Families must be strengthen by encouraging communication and involvement and providing them with the tools for success. Statistics have proven over and over that strong families give children a better chance at success.

Peter Abbarno, Centralia City Councilmember
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Lewis County Seniors are Important!

The Lewis County Seniors organization is important to our community by offering both nutritional and enrichment programs in Lewis County. After county funding cuts, the Lewis County Seniors formed a 501(c)(3) organization to continue serving the vital needs of our community; including nutritional and enrichment programs.

There are tremendous benefits to supporting our Lewis County Seniors. Our seniors built and contributed so much to our community and I believe providing for their wellbeing is the right thing to do. It is also the fiscally responsible thing to do, because we know that nutritional and enrichment programs are highly effective preventative measures to maintaining the quality of life and health of our senior community.

Peter Abbarno, Centralia City Councilmember and host of AM1470 KELA’s Let’s Talk About It show.

Listen to Peter Abbarno with Col. Ron Averill, President of the Lewis County Seniors, and Glenda Forga, Executive Director of the Lewis County Seniors, on AM1470 KELA Radio.

The Lewis County Seniors organization provides two main programs:

Enrichment Programs

Peter Abbarno, Emcee for Lewis County Seniors’ “Night of Magic, with Col. Ron Averill and Glenda Forga

Simple common sense tells us that people of any age fare much better in life when they’re physically, socially, and mentally active. This is especially true when we begin to grow older, as our bodies and minds begin to lose their youthful levels of fitness and their natural healing abilities. Unfortunately, grave problems can arise if a senior citizen does not make pointed efforts to remain active in meaningful ways.

Nutrition Programs

Eating well is important for good nutrition at any age, but it is even more necessary for older adults because nutritional needs change. Adequate nutrition is necessary for health, quality of life and vitality. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, including living on a fixed income and in rural isolation, many seniors do not eat as well as they should. This can lead to poor nutrition or malnutrition.

According to Seniors Lifestyle Magazine, factors that lead to homelessness in the elderly include

  • Poverty. The leading cause of homelessness in seniors is financial instability. Without the means to afford safe housing, many seniors can eventually end up living on the streets.
  • Isolation. The death of a spouse can leave the remaining partner at risk of homelessness. For those who have no other family members or close friends, the depression and stress of losing their partner can mean the loss of everything for the one who remains.
  • Illness. For most of the seniors who are ill and homeless, mental illness is the number one factor. Unable to take care of themselves or manage money and without anyone to help, they often end up penniless and alone.

I strongly believe the programs administered by the Lewis County Seniors will help reduce the rate of poverty and homelessness among seniors in Lewis County; help increase the social, physical, and mental wellbeing of seniors in Lewis County; and help prevent illness that could lead to prolonged and expensive medical and health care.

Peter Abbarno, Centralia City Councilmember

Second Time Around Thrift Store

You can donate even the most worn out of clothing and shoes. Even if you think the item is too worn out for another person to use, we are able to sell these items by the pound to be recycled. We don’t get very much but every little bit helps and it keeps these items out of the landfill.

Peter Abbarno with Althauser Rayan Abbarno staff at the official ribbon cutting!

Collect these items in a white plastic bag and mark it with the letters ARC, this will save us from having to sort them out, it’s a win, win for us and the community. The Store is located at 749 S. Market Blvd. in Chehalis and All proceeds help to support the Lewis County Seniors

The Thrift Store is a great place to support the seniors! You can also support the Lewis County Seniors by visiting

WATCH: Washington House Hearing on Gun Control Legislation

The Washington State House is preparing to listen to public testimony on 2nd Amendment-Gun Control Legislation beginning at 10am in Olympia. You can watch the public hearings on TVW here at 10am.

TVW- Public Hearings at 10am in Olympia

Protecting our Second Amendment rights is not a partisan issue and transcends race, religion, and gender. In SW Washington, like most of rural Washington, gun ownership and hunting is part of the history and tradition of many families.

Government should be enforcing current laws, not taking rights away from legal and responsible gun owners.

Peter Abbarno, Centralia City Councilmember

The legislation being discussed today can be found on the Legislature’s Website and include the following:

House Bill 2240- High Capacity Magazines

  • Makes it unlawful for a person to manufacture, possess, distribute, import, transfer, sell, offer for sale, purchase, or otherwise transfer a large capacity magazine, except as specifically authorized.
  • Allows a person who legally possessed a large capacity magazine on the effective date of the act, or a person who inherits a legally possessed large capacity magazine, to continue to possess the large capacity magazine subject to certain restrictions.
  • Establishes a number of exemptions from the prohibitions relating to large capacity magazines for certain persons and entities

House Bill 2241- assault weapons and high capacity magazines

  • Makes it unlawful for a person to manufacture, possess, distribute, import, transfer, sell, offer for sale, purchase, or otherwise transfer an assault weapon or a large capacity magazine, except as specifically authorized.
  • Allows a person who legally possessed an assault weapon or large capacity magazine on the effective date of the act, or a person who inherits a legally possessed assault weapon or large capacity magazine, to continue to possess the assault weapon or large capacity magazine subject to certain restrictions.
  • Establishes a number of exemptions from the prohibitions relating to assault weapons and large capacity magazines for certain persons and entities.
  • Subject to exceptions, establishes certain restrictions applicable to assault weapons.

House Bill 2519- reasonable public safety measures to prevent dangerous individuals from acquiring ammunition

  • Creates criminal offenses relating to unlawful possession of ammunition and unlawfully delivering ammunition to anyone the person has reasonable cause to believe is prohibited from possessing ammunition.
  • Provides that a person engaged in the business of selling ammunition at wholesale or retail is a dealer and must obtain a license to sell ammunition, and with exceptions, provides that the sale of ammunition must occur in a face-to-face transaction.
  • Provides that if federal law changes to allow access to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System for the purpose of conducting a background check for ammunition transfers, a dealer must then conduct a background check before delivering ammunition to a purchaser or transferee.
  • Provides that certain laws relating to firearms apply in the same manner with respect to ammunition.

House Bill 1374- local government authority to regulate firearms

  • Repeals the statute that preempts local jurisdictions from adopting laws relating to firearms.
  • Provides that nothing in the chapter of law governing firearms modifies or limits the power of a city, municipality, or county to adopt laws relating to firearms that are in addition to or more restrictive than state law.
  • Removes provisions that allow local regulation of firearms in limited areas.

House Bill 1315- concealed pistol license training requirements.

  • Requires an applicant to provide evidence of completion of a handgun proficiency course in order to obtain a concealed pistol license.
  • Requires the Washington State Patrol to establish minimum standards for handgun proficiency, develop a course and examinations to measure handgun proficiency, and certify qualified handgun instructors and approved online course providers.

Centralia Council Votes New Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem

On Tuesday, January 14th, the Centralia City Council voted new leadership for the City Council. Councilmember Sue Luond was elected Mayor and Councilmember Peter Abbarno as the new Mayor Pro Tem. Congratulations to Mayor Sue Luond and the newest members of the Centralia City Council Elizabeth Cameron and Kelly Johnston.

Peter Abbarno listening to a presentation by Centralia City Manager Rob Hill.

My family and I are truly grateful for the support of the voters in Centralia for giving me another term on the Centralia City Council. The trust from the City is very humbling. Mayor Pro Tem was not a position I initially sought, but I was honored to be nominated, and excited to lend my knowledge and time to the City, and I look forward to helping Mayor Luond and the City Council navigate through 2020.

Peter Abbarno, Centralia City Councilmember

According to the Centralia City Council Policy 2.02, “the Council acts as a body.  No member has any extraordinary powers beyond those of other members.  While the Mayor has some additional ceremonial and presiding officer responsibilities as described below, when it comes to establishing policies, voting, and in other significant areas, all members are equal.  According to the Centralia City Council Policy 2.11, “the duties of the Mayor include serving as a facilitator at Council meetings, the Mayor shall assist the City Council in focusing on agenda discussions and deliberations.”

Peter Abbarno poses for the Chronicle Newspaper’s Person of the Year. Photo by Jared Wenzelburger

I was proud to nominate Councilmember Luond to the position of Mayor. She is very capable and energetic and will do a very fine job.

The City of Centralia has a very bright future. We must continue to be fiscally responsible, while investing in smart growth by improving aging infrastructure, creating inclusive and accessible streets and sidewalks, and developing long-range goals. I have confidence that we can do that working together for the common good.

Peter Abbarno, Centralia City Councilmember

To learn more about Peter Abbarno, visit

Abbarno: Supporting Voice and Vote of Washington at I-976 Rally

On Monday, January 13, the first day of the legislative session, Peter Abbarno joined the Concerned Taxpayers of Snohomish County and “The Right View of Washington State” organizations to support Washington’s Vote on I-976.

Uphold the Vote Rally at the Washington State Capitol on the First Day of Session.

I-976 is bigger than one person about more than one issue. I-976 is about the overwhelming “tax fatigue” felt by working families and small business. The message from the People to Olympia is that government must be more efficient – must be more responsive – must be more transparent – must be more accountable- with OUR money.

Peter Abbarno, Centralia City Councilor, Attorney, and host of KELA AM1470’s Let’s Talk About It program
Peter Abbarno speaking at the I-976 rally on the First Day of the Legislative Session.

Speakers included State Representatives Jim Wash, Luanne Van Werven, Brad Klippert, Senators Doug Ericksen, Keith Wagoner, Phil Fortunato, and Activist Glen Morgan with Sam Inman and son set up the sound system and music, as well as Carolyn Strong, Billye Brooks-Sebastiani, and Petra Bigea who did an amazing job scheduling and organizing the event.

Among other things, Initiative 976, caps annual state and local car tab fees at $30, was to take effect on December 5, but King County and Seattle officials, supported by the governor, have “tied up” the vote in litigation. The Legislature can uphold the voice and vote of the people through legislation.

“It’s about taxes,” said State Representative Jim Walsh. “It’s about what I believe are my constituents’ exasperation with increasing nickel-and-dime taxes, and I think the people in the state are exasperated.”

Continue reading…

Abbarno named Chronicle’s “Person of the Year”!

Local Attorney, Centralia City Councilmember, and prolific volunteer was named the Daily Chronicle Newspaper’s 2019 Person of the Year! The feature article is located here.

I want to thank the Chronicle for choosing me to be the Person of the Year! I am very humbled by the honor and truly owe it all to my wife and family, my office co-workers, and the amazing charitable organizations that create opportunities to serve.

Peter Abbarno

The feature article in the Chronicle reads: On a recent day, United Way of Lewis County Executive Director Debbie Campbell received a surprising gift in the form of a note and $500 left in the mail. 

“We would like to honor Peter Abbarno for all he does to further education in Lewis County,” read the short letter, written by a local woman who had recently lost her husband. 

She didn’t know Abbarno particularly well, but his work in the community had inspired her and her late husband to contribute to a cause he supports. 

To Campbell, it’s another piece of tangible, heartwarming evidence of the impacts made by Abbarno, a prolific local volunteer, Centralia city councilor and attorney who has for years dedicated his time, money and expertise to dozens of causes and organizations in both Lewis and Thurston counties. 

“Peter has a heart to make our community a better place,” Campbell said. “He believes that improving a community is about solving problems and he not only gives of his time, talent and resources, he supports the good work of others with strategic brainstorming and connecting people with resources. Peter has good will in his heart, and with his energy and perseverance, he has achieved great things for our community.”

Althauser Rayan Abbarno attorney Peter Abbarno is named Chronicle Person of the Year for 2019.

Indeed, it might be quicker to name the organizations Abbarno has not volunteered his time to than those he has. 

In addition to the United Way of Lewis County, he and his family have been involved with The Hub City Mission, Friends of the Seminary Hill Natural Area, Lewis County Seniors, Raise for Rowyn, the Centralia College Foundation, Specialized Activities and Recreation in the Community (SPARC), the Forgotten Children’s Fund, Lewis County Special Olympics, the Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce, the Boys and Girls Club of Chehalis, the Visiting Nurses Foundation, the Lewis Economic Development Council and Centralia Little League, in addition to other efforts. 

To read the entire article, visit The Daily Chronicle.