About the only thing I really like about being in Olympia this year is when I get in my car and head back home to the 31st District. Don't get me wrong, a lot of the work that I do down here on your behalf is very important, but the world of politics often seems so distant from the real world that most folks live in; it can be truly frustrating at times.
You may have seen stories about this legislative session and be frustrated by a seeming lack of focus on jobs, the economy, and getting our fiscal house back in order. It is irritating at times when legislators get off track from the most important issues. I belong to a small group of legislators, often referred to by the media as the "Road Kill Caucus," a group of moderates who seek compromise and inclusiveness in solving our states problems. We are working on a number of pieces of legislation that will increase efficiencies and decrease unnecessary spending. Last year this group was successful in passing legislation that kept down unemployment insurance and workers comp rates in hopes of spurring new employment.
The tough part now is finishing a supplemental budget during this current legislative session. Initially, most of the liberal legislators wanted to immediately find a way to raise revenue through increased taxes. I believed, as did a number of my colleagues, that the proper path forward required us to first enact additional reforms and restructuring of government and our state budget, prior to talking about new revenue. I've worked on and introduced legislation to do just that.