I ran for State Senate as a different type of leader going to Olympia to change it and its ways. I was determined to change Olympia, not have Olympia change me. With my combination of community involvement, time spent in our schools, and real world business experience, I was confident I would have an immediate impact in Olympia.
My focus has always been on building an education system for the 21st century, creating sustainable, responsible budgets and creating an environment that allows small business and free enterprise to flourish.
In my first term as Senator, I had the good fortune to be appointed Chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee and was the Senate’s chief budget writer, negotiator and sponsor of the state’s recent bipartisan state budget.
The budget achieved a fundamental change in the state’s priorities, focusing its spending growth on education in a 4:1 ratio over non-education spending, a far cry from the 1:2 ratio seen in past years. It also balanced for four years, going from a $900 million deficit to at $1.3 billion reserve.
I worked across party lines to craft the most bipartisan budget in twenty years, garnering votes from 89% of the legislators, a far cry from partisan budgets of the past.
Because of this, children entering public schools this fall will have an additional $1 billion for basic education. College students won’t see their tuition raised for the first time in nearly 30 years. Students on waiting lists for high-demand computer science and engineering degrees will have more opportunities because of an $18 million funding increase to expand enrollment slots.
Please help me continue to bring about the change that’s needed! Contribute, volunteer, endorse me, and tell five of your friends about me and how I can get the state turned around and headed in the right direction!