State representative, legislative district 42, position two

Published on Thu, Oct 16, 2008
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State representative, legislative district 42, position two

Name: Kelli Linville
Democrat
City: Bellingham
Family: Husband, Will
Roehl; sons Sean, 38,
and Chris, 29.

Q: What are the biggest challenges facing Washington state today and how do you plan to address those challenges?
A: Balancing the budget. We have a $34 billion dollar budget. Using the POG process I passed we need to assess what are the essential services of government, where we will partner with other units of government and the private sector, and what do we need to let go. Also, fully-funding education. In education we should develop our budgets from the classroom up based on what kids need to learn. We should use a three year enrollment average to maintain programs and avoid “feast or famine” budget cycles, exempt school districts from fuel taxes, and put dollars that go to specific programs onto the base per pupil spending so districts will have more flexibility to meet the needs of their students. Lastly, providing access to affordable healthcare. I believe that healthcare access is a right not a privilege. While major reform must happen at the federal level, the states can act by making healthcare universal – everyone must have access. We can do this by increasing pools and voucher slips in funding, maintaining the Rx card program that the state has that has decreased some drug costs, and focus on prevention because it is as important as treatment.

Q: Current growth in unincorporated areas such as Birch Bay is driving up demand for services such as fire protection yet because of a 1 percent cap on annual property tax revenue increases, funding for these services is not adequately available. The Washington state Growth Management Act requires jurisdictions such as Whatcom County to maintain concurrency through impact fees for transportation infrastructure and schools, but there are no impact fees for fire protection. What do you think is the state’s role in helping local jurisdictions cope with this?
A: I am a strong believer of concurrency to ensure growth does not diminish the quality of life. If concurrency fees for fire protection are not allowed, I would support making them eligible for impact fees.


?Name: Jere Hawn
Republican
City: Blaine

?Q: What are the biggest challenges facing Washington state today and how do you plan to address those challenges?
A: The biggest challenge today is the budget and to control spending that has gotten out of control. By eliminating waste and doing the business of government more efficiently money can be saved and placing the burden of waste taken off the citizens of our county. Graduating from Western Washington University in the recession of ‘82 I joined the Navy and spent nearly 12 years serving our country. I started studying efficiencies and process improvements in the late ‘80s and after the Navy I moved to Wyoming for four years helping the financial services industry improve the way they did business and then the governor hired me to do the same for state government. Then I moved back to Whatcom County and started helping business to be more efficient and focus on the customer in their process and their outlook. Western heard what I was doing and they hired me to teach our next generation of leaders on the same techniques and processes. I have been a member of the board of directors of the Washington State Quality Award and I am currently a sitting judge for the Washington State Quality Award. I have taught and guided federal government departments, state agencies, and business in Washington and the nation how to do business more efficiently.

Q: Current growth in unincorporated areas such as Birch Bay is driving up demand for services such as fire protection yet because of a 1 percent cap on annual property tax increases, funding for these services is not adequately available. The Washington state Growth Management Act requires jurisdictions such as Whatcom County to maintain concurrency through impact fees for transportation infrastructure and schools, but there are no impact fees for fire protection. What do you think is the state’s role in helping local jurisdictions cope with this?
A: Education and safety of the citizens of Washington is the state’s primary duty. The state should do everything in its power to protect the lives and families of Birch Bay. Bad laws need to be changed or removed. Just because a piece of legislation sounds like a good idea doesn’t mean that it is a good idea. As time goes on the Growth Management Act is becoming more and more of a burden for everyone; it is time for the GMA to get in line with reality.

State representative, legislative district 42, position one

Name: Doug Ericksen
Republican
City: Ferndale
Family: Wife, Tasha, two children.

Q: What are the biggest challenges facing Washington state today and how do you plan to address those challenges?
A: Balancing the budget without raising taxes. We face a budget crisis in our state. This crisis was created by overspending. We need to address this issue by agreeing not to raise taxes, prioritizing state spending, and putting in place a constitutional amendment to limit state spending. If we do not control spending we cannot provide tax relief to the people. 2. Healthcare. We need to empower people with regards to their health care decisions. We need to tear down the barriers that limit health care choices. It is important to remember that insurance does not equate to access. Energy security. We need to increase domestic supply of energy, decrease energy demand through technology, and put in place common sense reforms that will prevent the system from being manipulated.

Q: Current growth in unincorporated areas such as Birch Bay is driving up demand for services such as fire protection yet because of a 1 percent cap on annual property tax increases, funding for these services is not adequately available. The Washington state Growth Management Act requires jurisdictions such as Whatcom County to maintain concurrency through impact fees for transportation infrastructure and schools, but there are no impact fees for fire protection. What do you think is the state’s role in helping local jurisdictions cope with this?
A: I believe that infrastructure development must keep up with growth. For too many years this has not been the case. I do not like impact fees and I am working on a new system that would allow a portion for the sales tax currently generated by new development to stay locally in lieu of impact fees. I believe that we can develop a much more efficient system to fund local projects than currently exists through the impact fee process. This new system would not include an increase in the real estate excise tax or an increase of any other taxes.

Name: Mark Flanders
Democrat
City: Bellingham

Q: What are the biggest challenges facing Washington state today and how do you plan to address those challenges?
A: The biggest challenges facing Washington state is, one, balancing a budget in these tough economic times, while not reducing critical services and programs that promote long term success. For example, cutting early childhood education might save us a dollar this year, but in the long run it will cost us $10 because of its value to the community. A well-educated community is a prospering community, and an investment in our long term economic vitality. The way to cut the budget, which we will need to do, is to carefully weigh agency and commission requests with an eye for critical services, long term value, and effectiveness. Another idea is to engage our state employees, not just at the management level, but down the ranks, and to provided incentives for employees to develop ways to reduce waste. I believe that if we work together as a team to tighten our belts we can get through these tough times without sacrificing the good things that we expect from our state government.

Q: Current growth in unincorporated areas such as Birch Bay is driving up demand for services such as fire protection yet because of a 1 percent cap on annual property tax increases, funding for these services is not adequately available. The Washington state Growth Management Act requires jurisdictions such as Whatcom County to maintain concurrency through impact fees for transportation infrastructure and schools, but there are no impact fees for fire protection. What do you think is the state’s role in helping local jurisdictions cope with this?
A: Funding for fire protection is critical for all areas of Whatcom County and it might be reasonable for the state to allow concurrency with impact fees to address this issue. Funding for fire protection from the state should also be taken off the cutting table as well.

U.S. Representative, district 40

Name: Rick Bart
Republican
City: Marysville
Family: Married with seven children.

Q: What are the biggest challenges facing Washington state today and how do you plan to address those challenges?
The biggest challenges facing Washington and this nation are many. I am running to return a sense of fiscal responsibility to the federal government. Congress has been deficit spending our next several generations into a deep hole I believe they will have great difficulty getting out of. Thanks to the last Congress our national debt has risen to more than $11 trillion and our current operating budget is $400 billion in the red. The interest on this deficit is $1.1 billion alone. Our economy can’t sustain this kind of deficit spending much longer as indicated in the current economic crisis.
I would have voted no on the “bail out” plan. It adds too much to our debt problems and hands over the keys to our treasury to the failed private businesses. It set a dangerous trend to cover business losses with our tax dollars. It did nothing to deal with the root causes of our economic situation. Congress should have stayed in session longer to address the real issues instead of rushing home to get re-elected.
Another key issue is the politics as usual in Washington D.C. The partisan bickering and finger pointing of the past has failed us completely. Just look at our failed energy policies of the last 30 years, the looming insolvency of Social Security, Medicare and our health care crisis. I believe it is time to work in a bi-partisan way to resolve these issues and move America forward. I don't care who receives the credit; Congress needs to get it done.
Trust in our Congress is another issue. Currently Congress has an even lower approval rating than President Bush. That is something I want to work to turn around with solid hard work and ethical behavior. I will take no special interest money and no money from any group, lobbyist, or individual benefiting from legislation. It is the right thing to do.

Q: You mentioned that you support expanding domestic drilling for oil. Would that include drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge? Explain why or why not you would support that.
I do support drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge, offshore within the 50-mile boundary Congress has currently passed, or anywhere else in this country we discover it. I believe that if we are going to reduce our dependence on foreign oil (no matter how small the amount) we must drill now and drill often. Our economy is based on oil and oil products and we will be dependent on oil for years to come. Any amount of American dollars we can keep here (instead of sending to some oil rich foreign country) will help our economy recover. At the same time we must explore for additional natural gas and new renewable sources of cleaner energy. Diversifying our energy footprint will eventually convert us to new cleaner energy resources but until that happens we must discover and gather every drop of oil and natural gas we have at our disposal. My opponent and I differ on this. Please remember Alaskan oil provides hundreds of jobs in Whatcom County at the various refineries.

Name: Rick Larsen
Democrat
City: Everett
Family: Wife, Tiia, two
sons

Q: What are the biggest challenges facing our district today and how do you plan to address those challenges?
My number one goal is to strengthen our economy and invest in our community to create jobs. As a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I have delivered federal dollars for roads, highways and bridges and improved safety. I support a second economic stimulus bill to create jobs, strengthen our aging infrastructure and help Americans hurt by the economic downturn. This legislation would create approximately 11,000 jobs in Washington state.
I support investments in education, job training, research and development to increase American competitiveness and create jobs. And I am fighting to make sure our military's new refueling tanker is made here in Washington state by the best aerospace workers in the world.
Our dependence on foreign oil is a threat to our security, environment and economy. We need an energy policy that provides relief for families, invest in clean energy to create jobs and cracks down on oil speculators.
In Whatcom County, we face unique challenges and opportunities. We must protect our communities from drug trafficking and organized crime across our Northern border, while maintaining the flow of travel and commerce our border communities need. Millions of dollars worth of goods cross the border every day, and cross-border commerce supports 153,000 jobs in Washington state. It is vital that we maintain a secure and open border crossing.
The 2010 Olympic Games will be an exciting time for our region. I am working to ensure that the Department of Homeland Security has a security coordination center up and running for the games, ensure that programs such as the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) do not impede commerce and travel at the Northern border, and ensure that Whatcom County takes full advantage of the economic opportunities the Games will bring.

Q: You voted for the $750 billion bailout despite 2,500 emails and phone calls from constituents who opposed the bill. Would you explain your decision? Is there a plan to recoup that cost for taxpayers?
Our nation faces an economic crisis of historic proportions. This crisis has the potential to impact every family in the country. If you own a small business and need a loan, you could be hurt. If you are planning to buy a home, you could be hurt. If your son or daughter wants to go to college, you could be hurt. If you are planning for retirement, you could be hurt.
But when the Bush Administration asked for $700 billion with no oversight and no protections for taxpayers, Democrats in Congress said no way, no how, no blank check.
Congress made significant improvements to the Administration's financial rescue package. We cut the $700 billion in half and conditioned any future payments on congressional review. We added strong protections for taxpayers to ensure that we get our money back and benefit from any future profit. We included help for families who have been hit hard by the housing crisis to help prevent a projected $2 million foreclosures next year. We provided strong oversight and prohibited any conflicts of interest. And for the first time, we limited executive pay and banned golden parachutes for Wall Street executives who participate.
Our credit markets are currently frozen. Due to the credit crunch, small businesses in our community are having a hard time getting the loans they need to start a business or make payroll. I’ve heard from several local governments that the economic crisis is making it more difficult for them to move forward with building new schools, fire stations and other projects our communities need. And as the stock market plummets, seniors' retirement savings are taking a hit.
I supported the financial rescue plan because it will enable banks to once again provide the capital our economy needs to recover and grow. In the coming weeks, Congress must also act to deliver the appropriate regulation and oversight our economy needs for the long-term – regulation and oversight the Bush administration has failed to provide. We must pass an Economic Stimulus package that creates jobs, helps Americans hurt by raising unemployment and helps families stay in their homes, and we must hold Wall Street CEOs accountable for their abuses.