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Americans have proven that they are the greatest entrepreneurs in the world when given half a chance. We need to be allowed to create and invent again. The private sector, especially small business, is the engine that creates jobs and drives our economy. Government's role should be to foster a business-friendly climate by reducing oppressive regulations and taxes that are crippling our small businesses. When the role of government is reduced, businesses will again make a profit and begin to grow their work force. We need to get the wheels of business innovation and growth rolling.
As stated above, we need to reduce the heavy tax burden on our families and small businesses in order to promote prosperity and opportunity for our citizens. That's why in my 14 years in the House, I never voted for new or increased taxes and my pledge to you remains the same. I oppose a state income tax and would support reducing - and eventually eliminating the Business and Occupation Tax.
Olympia has a spending problem. Even in these tough times, the state revenue for the 2011-2013 biennium is projected to grow approximately 14%. This means that the State of Washington is receiving about 4 billion MORE dollars in the current biennium than was collected for 2009-2011. Despite that increase, Washington is facing a significant shortfall – once again the State has over-spent. We need spending reform. Spending should be prioritized eliminating some programs and consolidating the same or similar activities from different agencies. Ronald Reagan once said that the closest thing to eternal life on earth is a government program. This has to change – the taxpayer can no longer sustain the burden of continued government growth.
Life is a precious gift. That's why I am pro-life. Innocent and vulnerable human life of every age needs protection. In the past I have sponsored legislation - which became law - that provides that a baby born alive during an abortion should receive the same medical treatments as a premature baby of the same age. Delivering Meals on Wheels is a humbling and heart-warming but also heart wrenching experience as I visit with the elderly and those vulnerable in our society. Their life stories and courage are an inspiration and their needs will always be with me as the State strives to solve the current budget deficits.
We have an obligation to fully fund basic education. We need to fulfill this mandate in a more effective, smarter way. More money is not always the answer. I believe we need to return greater control of our children’s education to the local level and begin reforming the education establishment in Olympia with the express goal of getting additional money into the classroom. Principals need increased control over their budgets and the teachers in their schools. We need merit pay for excellent teachers and to re-involve parents in the education of their children. I support both public and private educational opportunities.
Judge Francis T. Murphy stated; “No more essential duty of government exists than the protection of the lives of its people. Fail in this and we fail in everything.”
We need to hold violators of the law accountable and I did that as a Spokane County District Court Judge for almost 12 years. Public Safety and justice to victims deserve a high priority. Alternatives to incarceration such as DUI courts can be viable if programs are highly structured, with regular alcohol and/or drug treatment, random testing for alcohol and drugs, regular court sessions, AA or similar meetings and work requirements. Accountability and swift sanctions are also an integral part of a successful DUI Court program.
On March 9, 1995 I help pass HJM 4001by a vote of 71-25 in the Washington State House of Representatives. This 10th Amendment Resolution declared that Washington State claims sovereignty under the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution. It also demanded that federal government immediately cease mandates that are beyond the scope of its constitutionally delegated powers. The resolution died in the State Senate in 1995. We need to pass such a resolution in both houses of the Washington State Legislature.