Housing has been my No. 1 priority in the state legislature. I have over 25 years in housing, placing people in rental properties through my private business, Hometown Properties.
Our greatest need is to increase the amount of supply by removing barriers. I have led a bipartisan effort in providing solutions over the past two terms in the legislature, offering up dynamic ideas to get more people housed in our state and communities. This includes the 2020 passage and signing into law of my House Bill 2673, which provides cities and counties exemptions for infill development from the State Environmental Policy Act.
I also am working on gaining traction on two other pieces of legislation, House Bill 2687 (requiring cities and counties to plan for affordable housing under the Growth Management Act) and House Bill 2672 (which changes local government boundary factors of the Limited Areas of More Intense Rural Development). Both of these will increase the amount of residential housing supply options for our state, streamlining development processes for builders and are purposely bipartisan to help solve Washington’s housing crisis.
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For Republicans to win a majority in the State House, it will be more important than ever that we maintain control of the seats we already have. To do that we will need the help and support of people like you.
As a ranking member of the House Transportation Committee, I’ve helped ensure that our infrastructure needs are met, as well as respected the will of the voter with the passage of I-976 to implement $30 car tabs.
Along with two other ranking members of the Republican caucus, were tasked with writing a supplemental budget operating at a deficit. I’ve supported the House Republican plan to establish a new funding source for transportation while cutting bureaucracy at the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). Part of that goal is preserving funding for special needs transportation, maintenance, and unfreezing existing projects, while acknowledging the will of the people concerning $30 car tabs.
Supplemental Operation Budget
I’ve been a lead voice in restraining operational spending prior to the 2020 Legislative Session, advocating for a fiscally responsible budget along with providing tax relief for the citizens of Washington State. I have been warning against a pending economic downturn, while the majority party’s budget writers had a revenue surplus of $2.4 billion in a $53.5 billion operation budget. Although we were able to see $445 million in cuts over the next three years, the reported $8.8 billion tax revenue shortfalls due to the COVID-19 shutdown are going to make spending reductions a reality. I support anticipating challenges moving forward in order to prevent weakening our state economy further coming out the COVID-19 shutdown.
Lawsuit Against Inslee’s Shutdown Order
Along with several other Republican colleagues, I sued Governor Inslee’s emergency shutdown order extension in Federal Court. No citizen of Washington State should be ruled by perpetual shutdown decree.
The goal of myself and my colleagues is to have our Governor work with the state legislature, not only on sustainable budgetary writing amid a declining tax revenue, but also to ensure that Inslee is involving all of the lawmakers when concerning specific orders concerning the entire state. While originally supportive of the shutdown order to ensure that we did not overcrowd hospitals, Inslee’s extension without legislative approval was something that I and my Republican colleagues pushed back against. We need to get the economy of Washington state moving again, before we have to make larger cuts to our state budget.
Fighting Opioid and Heroin Addiction
One of the root causes of the housing crisis and homelessness epidemic is addiction to opioids, especially heroin. Our focus may have shifted to COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean that the issues of addiction have lessened. In fact, it may have worsened as our street resources, especially our law enforcement community, have been hindered due to the COVID-19 shutdown.
I’ve been inspired to work on battling opioid and heroin addiction because it affects my family, which has been a horrific spectre I’ve dealt with personally for some time. During my two terms in office, I have worked on legislation to provide law enforcement with the tools and resources they need in order to get that drug off of our streets. That’s only the tip of the iceberg, as I’ve convened a group of stakeholders to get at solving the issue of opioid and heroin flooding our neighborhoods, communities and state.