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GSI Candidate Roundtable Interview – Part 2

GSI Candidate Roundtable:
What are your priorities and goals for your first or next term?

One of our goals at GSI is to keep our members informed on public policy issues that could affect their business.  That is why we are hosting an online candidate forum for all state legislative candidates running in Spokane County this year.  Don’t know which district you live in?  Find out here!

Each week, we will be posting all of the answers to a different question in anticipation of our October Good Morning Greater Spokane event where we will host a forum between Senator Baumgartner and Rich Cowan.  Check out which candidates answered this week’s question “What are your priorities and goals for your first or next term?”

3rd District Representative Pos. 1

Marcus Riccelli (Incumbent)

1. Create jobs. The 3rd District is one of the most economically challenged districts in the state. Creating jobs is the solution and we can do that by investing in infrastructure through the Transportation and Capital Budgets, supporting emerging industries like aerospace and other technologies to attract new manufacturing jobs to our region, and expanding our health care sector.
2. Fully fund K-12 education. As son of an elementary school teacher, husband of a high school counselor and father of two young children who I want to have a strong public education, I will work to fully fund K-12 education.
3. Protect our social safety net for our most vulnerable.
4. Bring a four-year medical school to Spokane.
5. Continue to work toward the completion of the North Spokane Corridor (NSC).
6. Continued expansion of access to health care for all.”

Tim Benn

“Roll back regulations, stop tax increases, address government waste”

3rd District Representative Pos. 2

Timm Ormsby (Incumbent)

“The state budgets should always be our priority and this is particularly true now. In the state Operating Budget we will need to make significant new investments in court mandated K-12 funding and mental health. In doing so we will need to safeguard social service and healthcare programs that serve the young, elderly, disabled and infirm. Those services are vital to a large segment of the 3rd district. We can not lose sight of the importance of early learning and higher education funding either. Transportation revenue will be necessary to get the next stage of the N. Spokane Corridor completed and other road priorities as well as transit, local road maintenance, bicycle and pedestrian upgrades. Capital Budget dollars built the Riverpoint campus as well as a good chunk of our local K-12 construction upgrades. Community centers, social service facilities as well as housing, youth facilities, arts and recreation assets have also been built or improved with these state dollars.”

4th District Representative Pos. 1

Bob McCaslin

“Our State has an unfriendly business climate, and we’re losing local businesses and jobs to the Post Falls/Couer D’Alene area because of that. I want to see Spokane draw a lot of businesses to this area to bolster our local economy and in the legislature, I plan to vote accordingly to help that along. As a teacher, I see the need to make sure more of our state dollars make it into the classroom, and that will result from a thriving economy. We also need to change how Olympia spends our tax money. There is a need for real reform that results in a culture change in how state government agencies do business.”

Diana Wilhite

“My priorities and goals are to resolve the educational issues, work diligently to keep state spending under control and have a balanced budget without tax increases, improve the business climate by reducing unnecessary regulations, look for reforms and/or changes in the Department of Labor and Industries and reprioritize governmental programs so that additional funding can be transferred to the transportation budget. We need to reform the politices that divert current transportation revenues and fees to non-highway purposes.”

4th District Representative Pos. 2

Matt Shea (Incumbent)

“My priorities and goals for the next legislative session are: expanding tax incentives that preferenced the aerospace industry (SB 5952, 2013) to all industries in order to promote job creation across the spectrum of our state’s economy; legalizing industrial hemp to revitalize Washington State’s ailing paper industry; and, fighting any and all efforts to introduce new taxes or regulations on small business or industries operating in this state.”

Josh Arritola

“When I’m elected, I will focus on three major issues: completing our transportation projects, improving our business environment, and reforming adoptions and foster care.
Completing our transportation projects is the top priority for our region as it is one of the biggest reasons we cannot move business forward in Spokane. Finishing the North Spokane Corridor would position our community to be the largest American city connected to the oil boom in Canada. It would create 10,000 sustainable jobs and grow our economy by $400M/yr.
Second, we need to work on regulatory speed. Although de-regulation is preferable, from a minority government, we must build consensus around improving regulatory speed. It can kill business just as fast if not faster than the regulations themselves.
The third issue is Adoptions and Foster Care. We have one of the most broken systems in the nation with 2x the number of children per capita stuck in foster care and unable to find families.”

6th District Senator

Michael Baumgartner (Incumbent)

• “Secure funding to expand the Medical School to +100 students.
• Continue to help write balanced bi-partisan budgets that prioritize education.
• Secure  $750 million to fully complete the North South Freeway
• Make Washington a more competitive place to grow a business by taking common sense measures such as reducing workers compensation L&I costs.
• Continue the college tuition 0% increase freeze I have led.”

Rich Cowan

“My primary legislative goal will be the same as my business goal for the past 25 years – to create and grow high-paying sustainable jobs in the Spokane area. I figured out how to get Hollywood’s attention by selling investors on our region’s resources. We can do the same with other high growth industries.
I want to apply my job-creation background to important endeavors such as the full realization of the University District. We must also invest in the interchanges at Geiger and Medical Lake. Time is money and freight mobility is currently compromised on the West Plains by excessive waiting times. Economic opportunity is lost with every year that goes by without a transportation package. Consensus on a realistic and reliable education funding formula needs to be reached.
I will provide exemplary constituent service. I have heard too many times about my opponent’s failure to respond to emails and phone calls. Olympia is a place of service, not a political stepping stone.”

6th District Representative Pos. 1

Kevin Parker (Incumbent)

“During the recession, I passed a bill which saved 500 manufacturing jobs (HB 1663). My legislation has proven that I’ve been a voice for prioritizing jobs, education, fiscal conservative budgeting and a voice for the most vulnerable in our communities.”

Donald Dover

“The justices of the Washington State Supreme Court have already set the priorities for all those serving in the next legislative session — fully fund our children’s schools. Those who would suggest any other priority or goal are demonstrating a lack of respect for the court. I respect the court. I respect our constitution. And, I hope that every candidate for legislative office will join me in making the funding of our children’s education our highest priority!”

6th District Representative Pos. 2

Ziggy Siegfried

“Fully Funding Public Education, increasing access to family wage jobs, and increasing wages for our working families.”

7th District Representative Pos. 1

James R. Apker

“My First term goals are but no limited to;
School Choice and Voucher system
Taking on the environmental activist and the regulating the Grey Wolf in the 7th district
Help creating an environment for small businesses to grow and prosper by cutting taxes & deregulation.”

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