Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I've found these email updates to be a great way to reach you and other constituents with important news and information affecting our district and state. But election year restrictions limit my ability to send out these e-newsletters unless you agree to continue receiving them.
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The 2010 session is in full steam with legislators in both the House and Senate introducing legislation on a daily basis. However, while there will be hundreds of bills introduced over the next 60-days, the main focus will once again be on our state's budget shortfall – this time at $2.6 billion.
The governor and the majority party have talked openly about new taxes on gum, candy, muffins, and professional services, as well as a possible increase in the cigarette tax and the creation of a state income tax as a way to fill in our state's budget hole. I disagree. I don't believe taxes are the answer. Our families and employers are having to do more with less; they are having to live within their means. State government is going to have to change as well.
CREATING & RETAINING JOBS
My main focus this session is simple: reduce government spending and help get people back to work.
I believe government should be doing everything it can to help attract jobs to our state. Unfortunately, our state's business climate is not attractive and, frankly, not competitive (as we saw with Boeing's recent move) with other states. More and more small and large employers are leaving this state for greener pastures elsewhere.
In an effort to revitalize Washington's economy and attract new investment to our state, I am joining with my House Republican colleagues in proposing our “Made in Washington” plan. Our solutions focus on reducing the red tape hindering many of our employers from expanding or making new investments in Washington. We also want to reform our state's regressive – and expensive – workers compensation and unemployment insurance systems. Our solutions also include reforms to make health care more affordable and more accessible, WITHOUT mandating your participation in a socialized health care plan.
DECLARING HYDRO POWER A RENEWABLE RESOURCE
I am once again sponsoring legislation (House Bill 2432) to declare our state's hydro power as a green, renewable energy source. It never ceases to amaze me that we're the only state that doesn't recognize hydro power as renewable energy. By doing so, we can help keep energy rates down for our struggling families and also make Washington a more attractive place to do business = JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!
With the federal government's bailout of the auto industry, banks and Wall Street, and with its actions on nationalized health care and expensive climate change regulations (cap and trade), there is a growing grass-roots movement focused on protecting individual and states' rights. There was a rally on the steps of the state Capitol last week where supporters of states' rights expressed the desire and need to reign in the federal government's control and influence in our daily lives.
It was an honor to stand with participants and listen to other legislators, candidates, and concerned citizens express their desire to strengthen and affirm our rights as individuals and as a state. I've also joined with other members of the House Republican Caucus in sponsoring many of the “states' rights” bills which includes legislation dealing with self-defense, greenhouse gas emissions and 'cap and trade,' firearms, state sovereignty, presidential elections, and the initiative and referendum processes.
I want to thank you for taking the time to read my e-newsletter and for being involved. Your input and ideas are greatly appreciated as we work together to make Washington a better place to live, work, and raise a family. It is an honor to serve you in Olympia.