We are bringing forth solutions for the problems facing the people of our great state. Our priorities are guided by the collective aspirations and concerns of those we represent, and we take pride in bringing these voices to the legislative process.
Our primary responsibility as state lawmakers is to pass fiscally responsible, sustainable state spending plans — including operating, capital and transportation budgets. These budgets should benefit — not burden — Washingtonians. We understand that revenue appropriated by the Legislature comes from hard-working taxpayers who expect accountability.
While state budgets are important, they are not the only responsibilities of the Legislature. State lawmakers must consider hundreds of bills and amendments each legislative session, knowing that each piece of legislation would impact someone in some way. This is something we take seriously and why your input is valuable to us.
You will find our priorities below. We have sponsored legislation that reflect these priorities. You can learn more about these bills and others by visiting this legislative website.
Provide students with a world-class education
Our state has made historic progress in K-12 education funding and reforms the last four years, including smaller K-3 class sizes, full-day kindergarten, teacher raises, and addressing materials, supplies, and operating costs. As a result, more than 48 percent of the operating budget is now dedicated to K-12 education. We are proud of these new investments and how they are helping our students.
We have the most strongly worded state constitution in the nation when it comes to public education. This is a responsibility we take seriously. All students deserve a world-class education – regardless of their ZIP code. Our schools need to prepare students for life, including the jobs our state has to offer.
We understand that students learn in different ways. That’s why parents deserve educational options for their children. We believe the best student outcomes are achieved through flexibility, accountability and choice in our public education system.
In 2014, Republicans led the efforts to make higher education more affordable by enacting unprecedented cuts to tuition at public colleges and universities. However, more work remains to be done. We are focused on addressing the cost-drivers of our higher education system and reducing expenses to students – including textbook and course-material costs.
Empower families and strengthen communities
We are happy the Seattle area continues to thrive economically. However, too many people are still unemployed or underemployed in many parts of our state – especially in rural communities. We must find ways to ease the financial burdens on families and bring emerging industries to underserved areas. This requires a comprehensive, pro-growth strategy for our entire state.
Part of the problem is our employers face challenges, including a new minimum wage increase, high workers’ compensations costs, tax burdens, an uncertain permitting process, Obamacare compliance, and a growing bureaucracy of rules and regulations. Employers need more certainty, which means the actions of the Legislature, state agencies and the governor matter. We are committed to pro-growth policies that allow employers to hire, invest and grow, and result in people maximizing their earning potential.
A vibrant economy will empower families and strengthen communities. We also believe caring for the most vulnerable, supporting law enforcement officials, preserving property rights, protecting the environment, and being responsible with public lands are all important aspects of sustaining strong communities throughout our state.
- House Bill 1525 | Economic Revitalization Act
- House Bill 1123 | Statewide Tourism Marketing Act
- House Bill 1051 | Public infrastructure grants for rural counties
- House Bill 1457 | Sales tax holiday for back-to-school clothing and supplies
- House Bills 1348, 1349, 1382, 1459, 1460 | Solutions for controversial Hirst decision
Protect taxpayers and hold state agencies accountable
We enter each legislative session with the goal of protecting taxpayers and being good stewards of state revenue. Our belief is that tax increases should always be the last resort. The Legislature and governor should be looking for ways to ease financial burdens on families and employers – not create new ones.
Our state has great public employees that administer critical programs and services for Washingtonians. We respect and appreciate these dedicated employees. Unfortunately, there have been high-profile failures in our state’s transportation, correctional and mental health systems that have eroded the public’s confidence. We will continue to hold the leadership of state agencies, including the governor, accountable for their decisions and results.
When you interact with state agencies, our expectation is that you receive good customer service. State government should work for – not against – you. We rely on you and state audits to identify problems and find solutions. Please do not ever hesitate to contact us.
- House Bill 1817 | Zero-based budget reviews
- House Bill 1818 | Periodic review of state spending programs
- House Bill 1287 | State employee collective bargaining reforms
- House Bill 1005 | Accountability in agency rule-making authority
- House Bill 1120 | Enhancing the economic development and viability of small businesses by modifying the Regulatory Fairness Act