Happy New Year! It’s that time again. As children head back to school and parents back to work, I am honored to head down to Olympia for the legislative session.
Here in Washington, this session is a critical time for our state’s future. We need to invest in education, from age 3-23, so all our children have an equal chance to succeed. We need to invest in our infrastructure so business can run efficiently and adults can get to work. We need to invest in our mental health system to ensure all patients are treated with dignity and receive quality treatment.
But we have a big problem – we can’t make these investments with our current tax structure. Most of our state budget comes in the form of sales tax. The sales tax may have been a good system 100 years ago. But today, most of us spend our money on services, not goods. And, the sales tax places the highest tax burden on the poorest of us. This system isn’t sustainable or fair.
We can’t balance the budget on the backs of working families. In the words of my colleague, State Rep. Reuven Carlyle, “Washington’s tax structure is a Ford Pinto in a Tesla world.” It’s time for a change. This session, I’ll be looking for smart ways to reform our state’s tax system to make sure everyone pays their fair share and we can invest in our children’s future.
Last year, my first session, was a whirlwind. The first weeks were crazy. I hardly had time to eat or sleep! But, I ran for office because I wanted to help people and give back. Most of all, I wanted give a voice to people in our community who don’t otherwise have one. Coming back this year, the only thing that’s changed is my experience, not my dedication to you.
I am here to represent you. I want to hear your comments and concerns. You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org; call me at 360-786-7868, or come visit me in person. My wonderful legislative assistant, Kyla, and I are here to help you. We work well as a team and I look forward to introducing her to you as you call and email me during the session.
Thank you for giving me the honor to serve as your representative.