Local legislative candidates answer questions

October 16, 2012

By Staff

Click on the image to read candidate responses from state House of Representatives and state Senate candidates in the 5th and 41st legislative districts.

5th Legislative District — state House of Representatives

Chad Magendanz

How can the state fulfill its “paramount duty” to fund education, despite budget limitations?

• Budget writers must follow the Supreme Court ruling to fund education as our “first and highest priority before any other state programs or operations.”

What specific steps can state government take to entice businesses to expand or relocate to Washington?

Reduce burdensome regulations by aligning with federal standards, reform workers compensation and unemployment insurance programs to lower costs, and simplify the B&O tax structure.

What specific steps can state government take to increase revenue, despite the existing limitations?

A revenue-neutral swap of state property tax for local school levies would bring $1 billion of education funding into a more regular and dependable tax structure.

What specific steps can state government take to shore up Washington’s higher education system?

Return to a 50-50 deal with university students and restore funding levels to their historical average, rather than just 8 percent of the general fund.

What specific changes should be made to the state tax system?

Centralize and streamline the administration of the B&O tax, with strict apportionment to local governments.

What specific steps can state government take to ensure a stable, sustainable future for state parks?

Remand oversight of state parks to local park commissions that would augment the limited state funding with local funding and volunteer labor.

Chad Magendanz

What is the top transportation priority in the district? How do you plan to address the issue?

Reducing traffic congestion. We should deploy resources based on market demand and meaningful performance measures, providing additional capacity for both commuters and freight.

What is the top environmental priority in the district? How do you plan to address the issue?

Costly programs don’t show results. Conduct a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of the top environmental expenditures, and then fund those with the best return on investment.

What specific steps should be enacted to streamline the way state government functions?

Adopt a budgeting process based on Priorities of Government to ensure we put our limited state resources where they can have the greatest long-term impact.

How can state government help communities, such as Issaquah, better plan for future growth?

Conduct a comprehensive review of the Growth Management Act to recommend improvements and updates to better achieve its originally intended goals.

Describe the community, civic or government accomplishment of which you are most proud.

Awarded Washington State PTA Outstanding Advocate in 2009 for mobilizing education reform activists to pass a new funding plan for basic education (ESHB 2261).

Have you ever supported or donated money to a candidate from another party? If yes, who and when?

Yes, I’ve canvassed for both Republican and Democratic candidates who have been champions for meaningful education reform in Olympia.

How do you or will you foster bipartisanship in Olympia?

State Sen. Rodney Tom, D-Bellevue: “Chad has a proven ability to find common ground, build consensus and move forward around a shared vision.”

What is your position on the same-sex marriage measure, Referendum 74, on the November ballot?

Approve. America is the land of freedom and opportunity, and that should apply without regard to race, creed, color, gender or sexual orientation.

What is your position on the marijuana legalization measure, Initiative 502, on the November ballot?

Approve. Take the marijuana business out of the hands of gangs and criminals, just like we did by legalizing alcohol in the 1930s.

What is your position on the taxation measure, Initiative 1185, on the November ballot?

Approve. Lawmakers complain about the limitation, intimating that we underappreciate the difficulties of making law. I think they underappreciate the difficulties of paying more taxes.

What is your position on the charter school measure, Initiative 1240, on the November ballot?

Approve. I’ve toured several charter schools personally and interviewed the students, teachers and founders. The good ones are amazing, and we’re only inviting the best.

David Spring

How can the state fulfill its “paramount duty” to fund education, despite budget limitations?

Since 1996, corporate tax breaks have tripled from $15 to $45 billion per year. We could fully fund schools by rolling back these tax breaks.

What specific steps can state government take to entice businesses to expand or relocate to Washington?

Small businesses account for nearly all job growth. We should eliminate the job-killing business and occupation tax on small businesses to create more local jobs.

What specific steps can state government take to increase revenue, despite the existing limitations?

Multinational corporations should not be granted billions in tax breaks for outsourcing jobs to sweatshops in China. A fairer tax code promotes responsible local businesses.

What specific steps can state government take to shore up Washington’s higher education system?

We can roll back tuition increases and restore state support for higher education by rolling back corporate tax breaks to what they were in 1996.

What specific changes should be made to the state tax system?

Roll back corporate tax breaks to what they were in 1996 — the last time our state was above the national average in school funding.

What specific steps can state government take to ensure a stable, sustainable future for state parks?

Rolling back corporate tax breaks would not only generate billions for schools and higher education but also billions for health care, transportation and parks.

David Spring

What is the top transportation priority in the district? How do you plan to address the issue?

We pay the highest gas taxes in the nation, but have the most overcrowded roads. We can fund transportation by repealing unwise corporate tax breaks.

What is the top environmental priority in the district? How do you plan to address the issue?

Water quality affects not only the health of salmon in our streams but also the health of students in our schools. Better funding protects both.

What specific steps should be enacted to streamline the way state government functions?

Eliminating waste and fraud includes eliminating waste and fraud in our biggest government program — which is billions of dollars in welfare for multinational corporations.

How can state government help communities, such as Issaquah, better plan for future growth?

The state should restore 50-50 matching funds for school construction and repair. This would save local taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

Describe the community, civic or government accomplishment of which you are most proud.

I am a leader of the Washington Public Bank Coalition. A public bank would save taxpayers billions of dollars and create thousands of jobs.

Have you ever supported or donated money to a candidate from another party? If yes, who and when?

In the 1990s, I supported Brian Derdowski for the King County Council when he was a Republican.

How do you or will you foster bipartisanship in Olympia?

I have written bills which got a unanimous 49-0 vote in the Washington State Senate by working with all sides to find consensus.

What is your position on the same-sex marriage measure, Referendum 74, on the November ballot?

I support Referendum 74 as a basic human right.

What is your position on the marijuana legalization measure, Initiative 502, on the November ballot?

I support the decriminalization of marijuana. Jails should be reserved for real criminals.

What is your position on the taxation measure, Initiative 1185, on the November ballot?

I oppose I-1185. A supermajority requirement has crippled funding for our public schools and higher education by preventing us from rolling back corporate tax breaks.

What is your position on the charter school measure, Initiative 1240, on the November ballot?

I oppose I-1240 because it would lead to privatization of our public schools. Instead I support innovations which are approved by a local school board.

 

5th Legislative District — state Senate

Mark Mullet

How can the state fulfill its “paramount duty” to fund education, despite budget limitations?

You make education the first priority in the budget, and then focus on controlling health care inflation to reduce expenditures.

What specific steps can state government take to entice businesses to expand or relocate to Washington?

Be a regulator and a facilitator. On the Issaquah City Council we facilitate businesses because they provide jobs and provide great tax revenue.

What specific steps can state government take to increase revenue, despite the existing limitations?

We should lobby our federal government in D.C. to implement a sales tax on online purchases. This is $700 million a year in revenue.

What specific steps can state government take to shore up Washington’s higher education system?

We need to make college more affordable. Everybody in our state loses when a bright student has to forgo his college dreams because of money.

What specific changes should be made to the state tax system?

We can leave the tax system in its current form and increase revenue by finding ways for businesses to be successful in Washington state.

What specific steps can state government take to ensure a stable, sustainable future for state parks?

We should make the Discover Pass an opt-out box instead of an opt-in box.

Mark Mullet

What is the top transportation priority in the district? How do you plan to address the issue?

Issaquah-Hobart Road and Highway 169 need improvements. We should pass a transportation package in the 2013 session.

What is the top environmental priority in the district? How do you plan to address the issue?

Reverse declining fish populations. We need to appreciate the importance of recreational fishing, which means improvements to our commercial fishing rules.

What specific steps should be enacted to streamline the way state government functions?

We should implement many of the Lean management principles that make Boeing a success.

How can state government help communities, such as Issaquah, better plan for future growth?

We should create environmental laws that make it more attractive to redevelop existing commercial areas instead of building on virgin land.

Describe the community, civic or government accomplishment of which you are most proud.

My time on the Issaquah City Council. We have found ways to make businesses successful in Issaquah while protecting our natural beauty.

Have you ever supported or donated money to a candidate from another party? If yes, who and when?

I have voted for Jay Rodne, Glenn Anderson and Cheryl Pflug. I’m voting for Chad Magendanz in the House seat this year.

How do you or will you foster bipartisanship in Olympia?

I get along great with Republicans on our City Council. The majority of our customers at Zeeks are Republicans. I’m moderate by nature.

What is your position on the same-sex marriage measure, Referendum 74, on the November ballot?

I view it as a civil rights issue and support it 100 percent.

What is your position on the marijuana legalization measure, Initiative 502, on the November ballot?

My primary support is medical marijuana, but I’m supporting this to send a message to the federal government the status quo doesn’t work.

What is your position on the taxation measure, Initiative 1185, on the November ballot?

I’m not voting for it personally, but if elected, will never vote to overturn the will of the voters if they pass it.

What is your position on the charter school measure, Initiative 1240, on the November ballot?

I’m neutral on the charter school issue. My focus is to pass legislation in 2013 where the teacher’s union and reform community agree (fund schools).

Brad Toft

How can the state fulfill its “paramount duty” to fund education, despite budget limitations?

By utilizing the Priorities of Government process that allocates the very first budget dollars for K-12 education, before competing state demands.

What specific steps can state government take to entice businesses to expand or relocate to Washington?

Reforming the state Labor & Industries workers compensation program, the onerous unemployment insurance program and stabilizing the minimum wage — the nation’s highest.

What specific steps can state government take to increase revenue, despite the existing limitations?

Eliminating some tax loopholes, building state ferries with the lowest U.S. bidder, enhancing proven methods to help reduce social problems using the ACEs study.

What specific steps can state government take to shore up Washington’s higher education system?

Higher-education campuses must partner with private enterprise to train students for the jobs of tomorrow with skills to match, plus allow skilled nonteachers to teach.

What specific changes should be made to the state tax system?

The state B&O tax needs to be reformed to encourage more startups with a three-year tax moratorium on new businesses that employ in­state workers.

What specific steps can state government take to ensure a stable, sustainable future for state parks?

Again, private-public partnerships that allow discreet private-sector investment such as information kiosks, snack bars and electric hookups, such as those in national parks.

Brad Toft

What is the top transportation priority in the district? How do you plan to address the issue?

Congestion relief/safety enhancement, not social engineering, are the top priorities in the 5th District. Implementing the Priorities of Government in transportation will help, too.

What is the top environmental priority in the district? How do you plan to address the issue?

Surface-water management, from new and existing development, and controlling nonpoint pollution will help ensure fish, habitat and water resources. Work with counties and ecology department.

What specific steps should be enacted to streamline the way state government functions?

Consolidating business functions/approvals into only two or three contact points, like the secretary of state, departments of revenue and Labor & Industries is a start.

How can state government help communities, such as Issaquah, better plan for future growth?

The Growth Management Act needs more common sense, such as allowing school districts to build new schools where needed, instead of in arbitrary locations.

Describe the community, civic or government accomplishment of which you are most proud.

I worked with Habitat for Humanity to build approximately 40 new units of low-income housing and helped streamline their operation for improved effectiveness.

Have you ever supported or donated money to a candidate from another party? If yes, who and when?

No.

How do you or will you foster bipartisanship in Olympia?

I began by challenging my party and made bipartisanship a cornerstone. I further recognize a good idea no matter where it comes from.

What is your position on the same-sex marriage measure, Referendum 74, on the November ballot?

Washington voters will decide this issue in November, as they should.

What is your position on the marijuana legalization measure, Initiative 502, on the November ballot?

Washington voters will decide this issue in November, as they should.

What is your position on the taxation measure, Initiative 1185, on the November ballot?

I am in favor of allowing voters to decide on future taxation. Similar measures have passed several times before.

What is your position on the charter school measure, Initiative 1240, on the November ballot?

Charter schools, when well-designed, managed and supervised, can provide alternatives that better fit some students’ academic needs.

 

41st Legislative District — state House of Representatives

Tim Eaves

How can the state fulfill its “paramount duty” to fund education, despite budget limitations?

Education needs to be the first issue addressed in the budget process.

What specific steps can state government take to entice businesses to expand or relocate to Washington?

The B&O tax needs overhauling, and regulations which stifle profitability and growth need to be revised.

What specific steps can state government take to increase revenue, despite the existing limitations?

The state needs to encourage growth of the private business economy, which is where tax revenues originate.

What specific steps can state government take to shore up Washington’s higher education system?

More emphasis needs to be placed on majors that provide a positive return to the economy of the state.

What specific changes should be made to the state tax system?

Taxes across the board need to be simplified. B&O taxes need to be overhauled.

What specific steps can state government take to ensure a stable, sustainable future for state parks?

Outsourcing of operation and maintenance needs to be examined, and use fees need to be instituted, where appropriate.

Tim Eaves

What is the top transportation priority in the district? How do you plan to address the issue?

Remedies for congestion on Interstate 90 and Interstate 405 need to be studied and funded.

What is the top environmental priority in the district? How do you plan to address the issue?

I am not aware of any environmental issues in the district that require state government intervention.

What specific steps should be enacted to streamline the way state government functions?

Performance audits are needed at all levels of state government to identify waste and duplication.

How can state government help communities, such as Issaquah, better plan for future growth?

The Department of Transportation should assist communities in determining where transportation corridors are best located and sized, to avoid creating future bottlenecks.

Describe the community, civic or government accomplishment of which you are most proud.

My business partner and I are most proud of having operated our business for 18 years without laying people off for lack of work.

Have you ever supported or donated money to a candidate from another party? If yes, who and when?

No, I have not.

How do you or will you foster bipartisanship in Olympia?

I am willing to discuss any issue with anyone in order to discover points of commonality.

What is your position on the same-sex marriage measure, Referendum 74, on the November ballot?

I will vote no on Referendum 74.

What is your position on the marijuana legalization measure, Initiative 502, on the November ballot?

I am opposed to the legalization of marijuana.

What is your position on the taxation measure, Initiative 1185, on the November ballot?

I am in favor of the two-thirds legislative vote requirement to raise taxes.

What is your position on the charter school measure, Initiative 1240, on the November ballot?

I am in favor of the creation of charter schools in the state.

Marcie Maxwell

How can the state fulfill its “paramount duty” to fund education, despite budget limitations?

I’m serving on the Joint Legislative Task Force on Education Funding. We’re working toward funding recommendations to the Legislature by year end.

What specific steps can state government take to entice businesses to expand or relocate to Washington?

Washington is rated the nation’s sixth best place to do business. Our state must better prepare an educated and skilled workforce, and improve transportation choices.

What specific steps can state government take to increase revenue, despite the existing limitations?

Bipartisan support and agreement that education, public safety, vulnerable people and other values are investments that require us to step up to funding responsibility.

What specific steps can state government take to shore up Washington’s higher education system?

Ensure access and affordability to more Washington students, especially in high demand fields — aerospace and computer engineering, health services, etc. Curb remedial education needs.

What specific changes should be made to the state tax system?

Striving for tax fairness, stable revenues and smart investments should be part of our decisions in funding education.

What specific steps can state government take to ensure a stable, sustainable future for state parks?

Our state parks are about the quality of life in Washington. We have work to do to stabilize their funding. I’ll be seeking your suggestions.

Marcie Maxwell

What is the top transportation priority in the district? How do you plan to address the issue?

Ensure funding to complete the 520 bridge, improve I-405 from Bellevue to Renton and authorizing local authorities to have needed tools to grow transportation choices.

What is the top environmental priority in the district? How do you plan to address the issue?

Ensure that families can protect their children from known cancer-causing products. The House passed this bill last session but not the Senate. Protect waterways.

What specific steps should be enacted to streamline the way state government functions?

Cooperative delivery of services and data sharing between state agencies for efficiency and cost savings.

How can state government help communities, such as Issaquah, better plan for future growth?

Work closely with local elected officials to address rules and regulations that could be streamlined, and to seek authorizations needed to make local decisions.

Describe the community, civic or government accomplishment of which you are most proud.

My leadership passing HB 2261 and 2776, basic education reform and funding. The Supreme Court in McCleary confirmed this framework for education programs and funding.

Have you ever supported or donated money to a candidate from another party? If yes, who and when?

Yes.

How do you or will you foster bipartisanship in Olympia?

I co-chair the Quality Education Council with a Republican senator and lead a bipartisan executive committee.

What is your position on the same-sex marriage measure, Referendum 74, on the November ballot?

Approve Referendum 74.

What is your position on the marijuana legalization measure, Initiative 502, on the November ballot?

No on I-502. I’m willing to consider a legislative bill to legalize and tax “medicinal” marijuana.

What is your position on the taxation measure, Initiative 1185, on the November ballot?

No on Tim Eyman’s I-1185. Gives full power of all revenue and exemptions legislation to just 17 senators, and not one legislator, one vote.

What is your position on the charter school measure, Initiative 1240, on the November ballot?

No on I-1240. Washington must focus on our responsibility for funding and education programs for all students throughout our state.

 

41st Legislative District — state Senate

Maureen Judge

How can the state fulfill its “paramount duty” to fund education, despite budget limitations?

We must find revenue solutions that ensure everyone is paying their fair share, and close outdated tax loopholes that haven’t been reviewed in decades.

What specific steps can state government take to entice businesses to expand or relocate to Washington?

We must make Washington more attractive to small businesses by reducing the burden of the B&O tax on many smaller companies.

What specific steps can state government take to increase revenue, despite the existing limitations?

All options should be on the table, including closing tax loopholes that are no longer benefitting our citizens, and creating a truly bipartisan budget process.

What specific steps can state government take to shore up Washington’s higher education system?

We must give our youth the skills for the jobs of tomorrow, through education funding, job training programs and a focus on STEM courses.

What specific changes should be made to the state tax system?

Working to make the Washington tax system less regressive, and reviewing tax exemptions and loopholes every biennium budget cycle are my top budget priorities.

What specific steps can state government take to ensure a stable, sustainable future for state parks?

In order to protect these state treasures, lawmakers should restore funding to the parks and allow creative, revenue-generating programs, such as high-season campground fee increases.

Maureen Judge

What is the top transportation priority in the district? How do you plan to address the issue?

I will increase transportation options to ease traffic congestion, which will strengthen our businesses, decrease harmful pollution.

What is the top environmental priority in the district? How do you plan to address the issue?

The environment is negatively impacted by transportation gridlock; funding solutions at commuting and freight mobility choke points is key to solving the 41st environmental priorities.

What specific steps should be enacted to streamline the way state government functions?

Politics in Olympia are broken, and I want to restore civility and cooperation to our state government.

How can state government help communities, such as Issaquah, better plan for future growth?

Creating transportation options for expanding communities is key to smart growth; funding park and ride stations, bus and train service with extra space for bicycles.

Describe the community, civic or government accomplishment of which you are most proud.

Leading Washington Toxics Coalition out of financial peril while working to pass the bipartisan, landmark legislation banning BPA from baby bottles and other children’s products.

Have you ever supported or donated money to a candidate from another party? If yes, who and when?

No.

How do you or will you foster bipartisanship in Olympia?

Communication is the best way to foster bipartisanship; politics is an art of leadership and compromise. We must keep lines of communication with stakeholders open.

What is your position on the same-sex marriage measure, Referendum 74, on the November ballot?

I am strongly in favor of Referendum 74. Everyone should be able to marry the person they love.

What is your position on the marijuana legalization measure, Initiative 502, on the November ballot?

As a mother of a teenager, I’m reluctant to see increased access to marijuana; however, I understand that legalization will solve other problems. I’m undecided.

What is your position on the taxation measure, Initiative 1185, on the November ballot?

I don’t support I-1185. Decisions in Olympia should be made by leaders with a simple majority, not left in the hands of a few politicians.

What is your position on the charter school measure, Initiative 1240, on the November ballot?

We should focus on fully funding education and meeting the McCleary decision. Charter schools are an unnecessary distraction. I will be voting no on I-1240.

Steve Litzow

How can the state fulfill its “paramount duty” to fund education, despite budget limitations?

We need to make our first priority be funding an education system that meets the needs of every student in a global, information-based economy.

What specific steps can state government take to entice businesses to expand or relocate to Washington?

To support growth of small businesses, I am working to simplify the tax code, keep regulations consistent and fair, and build a world-class education system.

What specific steps can state government take to increase revenue, despite the existing limitations?

Washington needs to be the best place to start and maintain a business that provides living-wage jobs which will lead to more revenue.

What specific steps can state government take to shore up Washington’s higher education system?

Ensure that our high school graduates are capable of performing college-level work and have equal access to our state universities.

What specific changes should be made to the state tax system?

We need a simpler and more sustainable tax base. A first step would be to consolidate the B&O tax and remove ineffective tax exemptions.

What specific steps can state government take to ensure a stable, sustainable future for state parks?

The Discover Pass was a good first step. We need to prioritize parks as a long-term investment which I fought to do this year.

Steve Litzow

What is the top transportation priority in the district? How do you plan to address the issue?

The top priority is reducing gridlock by building out transit and congestion reduction projects. We prioritized these in this year’s transportation budget.

What is the top environmental priority in the district? How do you plan to address the issue?

Our top priority is planning more sustainable and effective communities to accommodate population growth. Improving transit and reducing sprawl should be our focus.

What specific steps should be enacted to streamline the way state government functions?

We have passed reforms to reduce costs for workers compensation. We need to push for innovative reforms that reduce the cost of state government.

How can state government help communities, such as Issaquah, better plan for future growth?

We are working with Issaquah and other cities to focus development around transit and communities to reduce sprawl and improve mobility.

Describe the community, civic or government accomplishment of which you are most proud.

I was very honored to be a leader in the bipartisan coalition that passed the comprehensive teacher evaluation system bill this year.

Have you ever supported or donated money to a candidate from another party? If yes, who and when?

Yes. Most recently this year, I donated to Rep. Ruth Kagi in the 32nd District and Sylvester Cann in the 46th District.

How do you or will you foster bipartisanship in Olympia?

I maintain my independence and discuss solutions, not partisan politics. I received the Warren Magnuson Bipartisan Leadership Award from the Municipal League for my efforts.

What is your position on the same-sex marriage measure, Referendum 74, on the November ballot?

I am honored to be the first Republican in the state Legislature to support same-sex marriage. I sponsored and voted for the marriage equality legislation.

What is your position on the marijuana legalization measure, Initiative 502, on the November ballot?

This issue involves federal vs. state jurisdiction and I am consulting parents, law enforcement, drug counselors, teachers and prosecutors for their perspective.

What is your position on the taxation measure, Initiative 1185, on the November ballot?

I support this because voters believe we are not properly prioritizing the revenue we have. Our spending is increasing faster than tax revenue will.

What is your position on the charter school measure, Initiative 1240, on the November ballot?

I am an active supporter of public charter schools as one of the tools we can use to increase innovation and close the opportunity gap.

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Comments

One Response to “Local legislative candidates answer questions”

  1. Maureen on October 19th, 2012 7:10 am

    In relation to 1185, Mullet wrote that he’ll “never vote to overturn the will of the voters if they pass it.” Is that true of all votes of the people? That is, if Ref 74 is not approved, will Mullet “never vote to overturn the will of the voters” on that issue, too?

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