It has always been important to me to grow local business and help create jobs in our district. In light of the challenges presented by COVID-19, improving economic opportunity in our community is more important than ever. I understand that getting people to work and goods to market are key to our local economy. That’s why I am a strong supporter of transportation infrastructure investments and reforming the DOT. I also support leveling the playing field for small business through B&O tax reform and cutting red tape.
I understand that an important part of my job is protecting taxpayers from an overreaching government. I also believe that politicians need to lead by example. That is why I have refused out-of-state junkets and do not send out taxpayer-funded newsletters. I have also worked hard to weed out state programs and services that are not needed and make our government leaner and more efficient.
I have served as a budget negotiator since 2009 and have helped craft our state’s budget for the last 11 years. My experience developing the budget during the Great Recession has prepared me for the challenging times ahead, and I am committed to maintaining social service and education investments in the upcoming budgets while ensuring taxpayer money is used efficiently and effectively.
As a father, coach, and PTA volunteer, I am deeply committed to improving our schools. That's why I sponsored and passed the Education Funding Reform Bill that simplifies budgeting, increases transparency and accountability, and invests additional dollars in our schools. As House majority leader, I have advocated for fully funding our public schools, and I helped forge a bipartisan plan that finally addressed the Supreme Court mandate requiring the Legislature to fully fund basic education. It is one of my top priorities to consistently fight to maintain high academic standards, lower class sizes, and make college tuition and textbooks affordable. From early childhood education to workforce development, I will continue to work hard to strengthen our state education system.
Few issues in the Legislature are as complicated as healthcare, and few have a larger impact on families across the state. Because my wife is a nurse, I hear every day about what our state can do to improve healthcare access and make it more affordable. As your Representative, I worked on a major compromise that expanded access to healthcare, but more needs to be done. I will continue to look for ways to reduce the cost of prescription drugs and the overall cost of healthcare in our state.
These days it seems like there’s too much political bickering and special interest influence in Olympia. I believe that leadership means working with members of both parties to solve problems and not being afraid to say no to your friends. Innovation, common sense, and a bipartisan approach is what we need to solve problems. I have worked with colleagues in the House of Representatives across the political spectrum to sponsor and pass legislation that improves access to mental health services in our communities, creates the innovative Department of Children, Youth, and Families, and fully fund equitable education opportunities.
Do you have an issue you are concerned about? Send me a message or give me a call on my cell phone at 253-740-6772.