JOBS/ECONOMY. A strong economy is the foundation for prosperous families and communities. Too many people in Clark County are out of work, underemployed, or afraid they could lose their jobs. The Legislature can and must increase our focus on economic turnaround and job creation.
EDUCATION. This is not just my top priority; it’s the top priority of the Washington State Constitution, and I believe that clarity in this area needs to be re-established. Educating our children is a concern and a hope of each family in Washington and you have an advocate in Paul Harris.
HEALTHCARE. All Americans deserve a world class healthcare system that is affordable. Over the past few years we have seen healthcare costs skyrocket when we have been told they will fall. The Affordable Healthcare Act has been anything but affordable. Our state, led by a Governor and Insurance Commissioner who are Democrats, has fully invested in Obamacare and Washingtonians have felt the frustrations and broken promises. You deserve better.
Jobs & The Economy
Jobs & The Economy—Let’s Get Clark County Working
A strong economy is the foundation for prosperous families and communities. Too many people in Clark County are out of work, underemployed, or afraid they could lose their jobs. The Legislature can and must increase our focus on economic turnaround and job creation.
I have supported legislation these past two sessions that would lower taxes, cut through the excessive, costly regulations and eliminate red tape allowing our employers to invest and create jobs. Specifically I supported:
*Tax incentives for rural economic development and employers
*Bills to protect contractors’ right to exist
*Wage incentives to encourage the hiring of first time employees
*Workers’ compensation and regulatory reforms designed to lower costs
*Laws to prevent the spread of Seattle-based wage and employee rules to areas outside of Seattle
Certainty and stability for employers is one of the most effective solutions to improving the state budget and prosperity of Clark County workers. A stable regulatory and business climate attracts investment and a higher standard of living for our families. I fought hard to keep temporary taxes temporary, and protected vital tax incentives for business and agriculture.
Let’s get Clark County back to work!
Education—Fund Education First
Providing a good education to our children is the State’s paramount duty according to the Washington State Constitution. I believe the first dollar we budget needs to go to education and but not just blindly put those dollars in. We must give teachers and local school districts the tools they need to succeed. That includes lowering classroom sizes, supporting the construction of more schools, addressing the shortage of good teachers and substitutes, allowing access and choice of education including charter schools.
While I think it is important to evaluate our teachers and also our students, we shouldn’t be so focused on the evaluations and testing requirements that we forget about actual teaching. Our teachers have so many technical forms, requirements and evaluations to fill out, that they don’t have time to actually teach. Our students are being taught to pass tests rather than actually learn the material.
I will focus on lowering classroom sizes, addressing the teacher and substitute shortage, recognizing the need for charter schools, and really try to reform our education system in Washington State with an emphasis on student learning. A rather simple approach for an overly complicated, bureaucratic system.
Having served as the assistant ranking on the House Healthcare & Wellness Committee has given me a strong understanding of our healthcare system in Washington State. I meet regularly with major healthcare providers, insurance carriers, and ordinary citizens concerned about their health coverage.
I believe every resident of Washington should be in charge of their own health care decisions. You should have available to you a variety of insurance options that meet your needs and budget. I am dedicated to finding innovative ways to increase access and reduce costs to consumers. One such idea is to allow Washingtonians to buy health insurance plans in other states, similar to the way car insurance is purchased. Raising the smoking age to 21 is another way we can help lower costs and prevent high school students from smoking cigarettes. The healthier our children and adults are, the lower our healthcare costs will be in the long term.
Lastly a big focus of mine has been on mental health.
While mental health isn’t always on the front page of the newspaper, it affects millions of Washingtonians. Our state has made mental health a priority and I am proud to be a leader in passing mental health bills such as Joel’s Law, which allows an immediate family member to petition for court review of a designated mental health professional’s decision not to seek involuntary commitment of a person who suffers from mental illness. Or HB 1450 which modified involuntary outpatient mental health treatment provisions related to persons in need of assisted outpatient mental health treatment being committed to less restrictive treatments. Mental health will no longer be ignored.
I will continue to work on healthcare and mental health issues and try to lower costs to make plans more affordable.
Protecting Most Vulnerable
When elected by the community to a leadership position, one of the greatest responsibilities is protect the weakest and most vulnerable citizens. As State Representative in the 17th District, I take this duty of serving those in most need as among my top priorities.