Tolling on I-405 express lanes was supposed to pay for itself AND meet an average of 45 MPH for 90% of the time during peak hours during a two year trial. They fail to meet the average speed requirement. Over 30% of the dollars collected are paid to a Texas company that administers the tolls. These tolls need to be removed, which also will reduce congestion.
In this link, you can see that my opponent favors a “little bit of a toll”. The first few dollars will go to administrative costs and the total toll will be in the $5-$6-$7-$8 range each way. My opponent is chair of the Transportation Committee, yet Pierce County received $584,375,000 in funding while Snohomish County got only $271,427,000 in the 2017-19 Biennium Transportation budget. Pierce County did not have to toll their roads. We can and should do better.
The Legislature funded education in order to meet the demands of the Washington Supreme Court. There is a lot more to do, particularly in the areas of special education and vocational and technical education. According to The Washington Roundtable, by 2021 there will be 330,000 jobs requiring career and technical credentials. Community colleges alone can never meet these needs. We must focus on creating educational pathways in our high schools that will fill the needs of our local business community. I helped create programs at Glacier Peak and Snohomish High Schools for the CAD, precision machining and biotech fields, but we need a lot more. We need to develop more vocational and technical education programs in our high schools.
HAVING AN ACCOUNTABLE GOVERNMENT
Citizens want to have a transparent government where they can observe the process of how legislation is developed. The Public Records Act requires that all but the most sensitive of information must be available for release to the public. Cities and counties are required to comply but the legislature, and Senator Hobbs, voted to exempt themselves from these requirements. The legislature must be required to comply with the Public Records Act. Legislators should read all the bills before they vote for them. Did you know that two initiatives on the November ballot are over 30 pages (I-1631 and I-1639)? I will read all the bills before I vote, and if there is not time, I will vote no. I will also post publicly how I voted and why. We need a transparent and accountable government.
Property taxes were drastically raised to pay for basic education as required by the McCleary Decision. I call it the Venema Decision since they were also on the lawsuit and from Snohomish. When the legislature realized that a robust economy was bringing in a $2.3 billion surplus, a bill was brought to vote to provide a $1.0 billion property tax rebate to struggling homeowners. Senator Hobbs voted 4 times against the bill and it failed. He also wants a carbon tax which will drastically raise gas prices and home heating bills. I oppose this tax. Washington State revenues are growing due to the great economy. Citizens are taxed enough. We don’t need any new taxes.