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.
If you want to continue receiving these emails, do nothing and we will keep you on the list. If you do not wish to continue receiving this email update, please reply to this e-mail and we will remove your name from this list.
YOU ARE INVITED – TELEPHONE TOWN HALL WITH 7th DISTRICT REPS
Rep. Joel Kretz and I are hosting a telephone town hall next Monday, Jan. 25 at 7:00 p.m. To participate, callers should call toll-free 1-877-229-8493 and then enter pin number 15429.
This is a great way to touch base with you during the busy session from the convenience and comfort of your own home. Joel and I look forward to hearing from as many as possible. We face many difficult issues in Olympia and it will take ideas and solutions from everyone. Please participate if you are able.
The 2010 legislative session has begun. Over the next 60 days, legislators will introduce legislation and debate the merits of policy changes that will absolutely have an effect on you and your family. I encourage you to stay involved and continue to voice your opinions via phone calls, e-mails and letters. I am here to represent you and your interests in Olympia. Your input makes a difference and helps me serve you better.
BUDGET & TAXES
Less than a year ago, state legislators closed a $9 billion budget hole with one-time bailout money from President Obama, budget fund transfers, and some program closures or delays. But because there was no fundamental reform of government services, the 2010 Legislature is once again faced with a budget hole – this time, around $2.6 billion.
To deal with this shortfall, the majority party and the governor have openly discussed a tax package which includes a tax on candy, gum, muffins, and professional services. There has also been talk of an increase in the cigarette tax and creation of a new state income tax.
I want you to know that I do not support tax or fee increases as a solution to our state's budget problem. Families and employers are struggling and making do with less – they are not operating in the same way with the same resources as before. State government cannot expect to continue in the same way, either. True reforms are needed to ensure stability in our state budget. For more information on our budget ideas, click here.
JOBS, JOBS, JOBS
I strongly believe that it will be the private sector and the innovation, courage and entrepreneurial spirit of small and large employers that will lead our state and country out of this recession. Government – at all levels – needs to get out of the way and let employers create and retain jobs!
I am joining with my House Republican colleagues in proposing a plan to make “Made in Washington” mean something again. The main components of this plan include workers' compensation and unemployment insurance reforms for employers; regulatory relief to help ease costly and burdensome regulations; health care reforms to reduce costs and increase access; and increasing our affordable (and RENEWABLE) energy supply.
Government needs to be doing everything it can – exhausting every option – to making changes needed to get people working again. The counties in the 7th Legislative District have some of the highest unemployment rates in the state. And I know from visiting with many of you this past year – you're looking for a hand up, not a hand out. You want a job – you want to work in order to provide for your families. Every decision I make in Olympia this year will be with that key thought in mind.
For more information on our Made in Washington plan, click here.
10th AMENDMENT – STATES' RIGHTS
I had the privilege last week to stand in support of States' rights and the 10th Amendment at a rally on the Capitol steps. The 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says that any rights not given to the federal government, or prohibited by the states, are expressly given to the states and the people. With the direction the federal government is going on issues like nationalized health care, cap and trade, and other environmental policies, there is a growing grass-roots movement taking a stand.
While I wasn't one of the featured speakers at the rally (Rep. Matt Shea from Spokane Valley did a GREAT job!), I was proud to be a part. It was great to see many folks from the 7th District in attendance.
I've also joined with other members of the House Republican Caucus in sponsoring many of the '10th Amendment 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
I want to thank you again for reading my e-newsletter and for being involved in your government. Without your participation, the “We the People” part of the equation goes missing – to the detriment of our families and our communities. Remember, I work for you. If you have a question or concern, or would like to share your ideas about some of the issues we're facing today, please don't hesitate to contact me. It is an honor to represent you.
427A Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
360-786-7908 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000