"I have been serving my community for most of my life and now I would like to extend my service to the 16th legislative district of Washington State. I look forward to meeting you and understanding what you believe are important issues in our district."
LIST OF ISSUES
With 39,000 farms operating on more than 15 million acres, Washington is a major agricultural state. We produce over 300 commercial crops and livestock products valued at $7.9 billion to Washington farmers and ranchers.
Agriculture is one of the most important industries in the 16th district. It is NOT an industry that is limited to the fields, orchards or forests. It includes companies that pack, manufacture & mill our products, supply our parts, equipment & chemicals and includes the businesses that offer for sale the end products the American farmer produces.
A majority of this District’s economy depends on agriculture and I will work diligently to protect this industry in the 16th District and throughout the State.
LAND USE & WATER
Property ownership and the water rights that accompany the property need to be protected. These rights are being eroded by the liberal agenda of the majority party in the Senate, House of Representatives and bureaucrats in Olympia currently in office.
As a regional director for 17 years with the Washington Farm Bureau, in addition to my 30 years of community involvement in land and water use issues, I have unparalleled experience in seeking and implementing solutions not only to protect those rights but to also protect the custom, culture and economic stability of our district.
I will take that experience and collaborative achievements with me to Olympia and fight hard to make changes to unacceptable laws that are detrimental to our district and state.
Our state does not have a revenue problem; it has a spending problem. In an effort to make it more difficult to raise taxes, the voters approved I-960 which required a 2/3rd majority vote in the legislature to raise taxes; however, the Democrats, who currently hold a majority in the House and the Senate, passed legislation that eliminated I-960.
The Democrats are currently trying to implement a new “capital gains” tax as a way to sneak around a graduated income tax without a constitutional amendment. Just another way to overburden and create more hardship for our overtaxed citizens.
As a state, we need to live within our means just as families and employers do every day. I will work for the citizens of our district and state and do everything in my power to keep this legislation from passing.
According to our State Constitution, the funding of education is the only item specifically singled out where the state must spend taxpayer money.
“It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provisions for the education of all children residing within its borders.”
Education is what drives our economy and quality of life in Washington. I believe more control must be given to local school boards in order to meet the educational needs of our students in our district.
I have been very involved in both the Walla Walla public and private school districts over the years. I co-chaired the new Walla Walla High School track project from start to finish. We were able to bring a “Private-Public” partnership to the table and accomplish something extraordinary. As a result, I believe the community was inspired by this effort and it helped influence the major school bond levy passed last year for renovation and construction of existing and new facilities within the school district.
I will take proactive ideas to Olympia and find solutions to help enhance education throughout the state. It is imperative to provide the opportunity to educate and train our youth with skills in the event college or trade school is not an option. I am committed to laying that foundation in Olympia.
Public safety and the health of our citizens is paramount to our District and our State. We are so very fortunate to have high caliber law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel to protect us from harm and to keep us alive and safe.
I will keep this at the top of my agenda to prioritize funding and develop new programs for these public services.
Transportation options are critical to Southeastern Washington for importing supplies and exporting products. Having solid transportation is paramount to the safety of the traveling public.
While some Democrats will agree that rail, road, and river are essential modes of transportation, we must not permit the majority party in Olympia to continually promote the removal of dams (as Oregon Governor Kate Brown recently did) or to pass more controversial low-carbon fuel mandates as the House Majority did in 2020. As Representative Andrew Barkus R-Olympia clearly stated;
“Republicans are committed to economically sustainable environmental policies that do not place extra costs and financial burdens on the taxpayers of Washington state. Unfortunately, the majority party feels it is more important to continue to tax the people of this state through increased fuel costs, increased costs in the transportation of goods and services, and ultimately the increased price of food. There is no doubt that this low-carbon fuel standard is a regressive tax that will put more financial burdens on those who can least afford it. We must do better for the people of Washington state.”
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I will work collaboratively to encourage creative programs that provide incentives, not laws and regulations that put companies out of business and people out of work. My extensive experience working collectively with government, environmentalists, tribal representatives, businesses and farmers to create programs will be beneficial in Olympia.
A great example, when I chaired the Walla Walla County Voluntary Stewardship Program. Together we have and continue to implement efforts to protect critical areas on farmland while keeping the viability of production agriculture. This shows that if we work together, everyone benefits.