I find it an honor and privilege to represent the 9th district in the Legislature. This year the legislature took one special session to get our work done. The extra time was worth it because we were able to stop the democrats from raising millions of dollars in taxes. As citizen legislators, I feel, it is important to live in our communities with the consequences of the laws that are enacted.
As I visit with folks here at home, jobs and the overall tax burden are the most common topics of conversation. There are still 24,000 people right here in our communities who are still looking for work. There is nothing more disheartening to an individual who wants to work than the lack of job opportunities.
I prefer to create an atmosphere where new jobs can thrive instead of increasing B&O taxes on small businesses, hiking taxes on household goods or additional increases at the gas pump, sending more of your paycheck to Olympia which impacts your ability to put food on the table at home.
That's why I will continue fighting to protect our small businesses and working families by making Olympia live within its means - just like you and I do.
I would appreciate your vote, and look forward to visiting with you about these and other important issues facing your family and our community.
AGRICULTURE - Agriculture is one of the most important industries to the 9th District and the state. As a former second-generation farmer, I dealt with the challenges on a daily basis. This past session there were many attempts to burden the agricultural industry with additional costs that could not be passed on. We must protect the jobs that agriculture brings to our region. I will work continually to keep the agricultural industry healthy.
WATER - The Washington State's Supreme Court "Hirst" water Decision must be fixed by the Legislature. I will continue to fight for the people of the 9th District to protect their water rights.
JOBS - We all know that it is not the government's function to create jobs. Government needs to foster an atmosphere where jobs can thrive. Small business provides the majority of jobs in our state and country. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA) 53.3% of all jobs are in small businesses. Taxes, regulatory environment, and size and scope of government all directly impact our employers' ability to expand job opportunities.
TAXES - We don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. In an effort to make it more difficult to raise taxes, the voters enacted I-960, requiring a 2/3rd majority vote in the legislature to raise taxes. The Democrats passed legislation that killed I-960. As a state we need to live within our means. As families and employers are having to tighten their belts, so should state government. And, any new spending proposals need to be paid for from existing revenues.
EDUCATION - The funding of education is of "paramount duty" according to our state constitution. It is the only item specifically singled out that the state must spend taxpayer money on. I have two principles on education. First, there should be more control given to the local school board. Decisions made a t the local level are usually the best decisions. And second, the burgeoning state education bureaucracy needs to be kept in check.