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Issues of Concern to the Citizens

of the 16th Legislative District

BUDGET

EDUCATION

ECONOMY

ENERGY

AGRICULTURE

HEALTH CARE

State Budget

The State of Washington is currently facing a budget deficit of nearly $4.5 billion dollars. This shortfall is primarily due to the economic downturn but is also contributed to the significant over spending by the current democratic controlled Legislature and Governor.

Ensuring adequate projected funding is available to invest in specific projects prior to committing funding is crucial. In addition, it is imperative the "rainy day" fund be replenished for that purpose only; an economic downturn and not for new programs or to fund overspending. Historically, revenues are cyclic and implementing new programs in high revenue years will not only create a burden or loss of funding for those programs in years with fewer revenues, it is fiscally irresponsible. I am a fiscal conservative and will use your tax dollars cautiously.

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Education

The paramount responsibility of the Washington State Legislature is to educate the youth of the State. Our educational system is an essential component in the successful future of our communities, state and nation. In addition to working to advance legislation to improve the current system and promote quality education in our schools, I will also encourage investment in workforce development.

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Economic Health of our Communities

A strong economic base is essential to the long-term sustainability and strength of our communities, counties and state. Working to improve the business climate in Washington is crucial to encourage new business and permit existing businesses to thrive and prosper. Excessive taxes, increased health care costs and over regulation are crippling private enterprise in Washington, severely hampering an employer's ability to maintain or create jobs and/or offer benefits. I will work toward eliminating the obstacles that impede business development in our state.

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Energy Sources

The exploration of all energy sources is not only environmentally sound, it is economically beneficial; e.g., reduced energy costs and additional jobs in our communities. I have extensive experience working with wind energy. We have great renewable resources in our district and a highly trained work force to further develop wind, solar, hydro, biomass and nuclear technology and to put it to use!

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Agriculture

There is no district more synonymous with agriculture than the 16th Legislative District. Having been raised on a diversified farm in Southeastern Washington and having represented many farmers in various legal capacities, I am a strong advocate and educated proponent of the industry. I will oppose any legislation that is detrimental to agriculture in general while supporting legislation that will benefit agriculture in Washington State.

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Health Care

It is evident the current health care system in the State of Washington is not working and needs reform. We need affordable health care options, increased choices of companies providing health care and additional choices of plans. One size does not fit all in the health care industry and providing more options will benefit different segments of our population.

The Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center in Walla Walla serves over 75,000 veterans residing in the Pacific Northwest and continues to be a viable resource to these individuals, their families and our district! The federal government is investing millions of dollars in capital improvements over the next few years and I can assure you, as a veteran, I will continue to support and lobby to retain this facility in its present location.

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