From the desk of Senator Mark Schoesler
As the Senate Republican Leader, I have seen firsthand what a difference the political parties make. When Republicans were in the majority, the state budget was balanced and the government living within its means.
We believe we have a positive agenda for the change Washington needs. Here is a summary of the principles that guide the Senate Republicans:
KEEP GENERAL TAXES LOW
People and businesses are the best judges of how to spend their money. The more money people and businesses can retain, the more freedom they possess.
NO INCOME TAX
"No," to more taxes. "No," to an income tax. Democrats will tell business to support an income tax and then their business taxes will go down. But to support a government- run, rationed health care system and other new government programs, downtown Seattle Democrats will need an income tax AND high business taxes.
REDUCE PROPERTY TAXES
The state portion of the property tax should be drastically reduced.
PRACTICE ZERO BASED BUDGETING
REINSTATE THE PRIORITIES OF GOVERNMENT
In the last four years, Senate and House Democrats have added 8,244 workers and increased government spending by more than 33%. If we decide an area of government like education or health care needs to be exapanded let's cut it in another.
RAINY DAY FUND
After years of effort, the Legislature and the people finally passed the Senate Republican idea to have a rainy day fund. This saves money for a true emergency and makes it harder for government to spend people's hard earned dollars.
SUPERMAJORITY SPENDING PROTECTIONS
Senate Republicans sponsored what became Initiative 601. This made it so supermajorities of the legislature were required to increase spending. These protections were reinforced by Initiative 960. Senate Democrats are now suing to overturn these protections. We support spending protections to protect the people's money.
We support government accountability. Auditing government bureaucrats is an important part of that.
PROTECT THE VULNERABLE
Government should fund a safety net to protect the most vulnerable. We need better care for foster children and a separate agency for Children's Protective Services?
Education empowers all children. It is the preeminent state constitutional priority. It should be funded first. Local school districts should have flexibility to reward outstanding teachers and to raise salaries in critical areas like math and science.
PRIORITIZE CONGESTION RELIEF
In populated areas, building more highway lanes reduces congestion. More lanes means workers get to work more quickly. It also means moms and dads can more easily pick up kids from school. Businesses can move goods.
PRIORITIZE TRAFFIC SAFETY
Highways of death like U.S. 2/Stevens Pass need to be prioritzed over more discretionary projects like Bridges to Nowhere*. Safety projects like the S.R. 99/Alaska Way Viaduct and the S.R. 520 bridge cannot continue to be paralyzed by process and a lack of leadership.
KEEP WASHINGTONIANS HEALTHY
The largest group of uninsured Washingtonians are those 18-34 years old. Create inexpensive health care coverage that they can afford.
KEEP WASHINGTONIANS SAFE
Sex offenders should be jailed not roam free and untracked. Enact a Meagan's law here to protect our children from sex offenders. Keep drunks off the road by passing tougher DUI laws.
KEEP WASHINGTON GREEN
Washingtonians value clean air, water and land. We have the third cleanest energy carbon footprint because appromately 70% of our electrictiy is from hydro. We need to recognize hydro as renewable. Since 50% of our emissions are from vehicles, we need invest in incentives to encourage alternatives like electric vehicle networks. Incentives are critical; not penalties. Reducing our reliance on foreign oil is important to all Washingtonians.
If you agree with these principles, then your contribution is welcome. You can contribute online by clicking on the button in the right hand column.
Your membership contribution of $100 — or even $50 — will go directly to Senate Republican candidates here in Washington state.