Below are my priorities for how to improve the lives of millions of people in Washington state. They are not listed in any particular order. Nor is this the full list of everything I care about.
Somehow, it required the Washgington State Supreme Court to point out that Washington is not meeting its paramount duty of funding education. Yet we are still no closer to solving this. The inability of our government to solve this problem is robbing our children of their future.
- Tax Reform
Washington has the most regressive tax structure of any state. Our over-reliance on sales tax is also just about the dumbest way to provide stable tax revenues. We need to diversify our revenue base. This is not simply about raising taxes.
- Mental Health
It may seem easy to ignore this problem if it does not affect you directly, but the state is under Federal Contempt of Court for not fully funding mental health. We must properly fund mental health services for everyone's benefit.
- Drug Reform
At some point, we must accept the fact that making drugs illegal causes significantly more problems than it is worth. We legalized marijuana and the world did not come to an end.
- Minimum Wage
While the best long-term solution to minimum-wage jobs is to focus on enabling workers to get the education they need to get higher-paying jobs, we must accept that many minimum wage jobs are no longer the first or entry-level jobs they once were. A fair solution is a 3-tier minimum wage, a higher standard minimum wage, a temporary training wage for 6 months, and a lower minimum wage for workers under 18.
- Environmental Protection
I am admittedly a treehugger, yet I understand the need to balance environmental needs and jobs. But you will never convince me that a coal export terminal actually benefits our state.
- State Parks
Washington has great parks, but they are only available to those who can afford a $30 annual pass. That is a tragedy and is incredibly unfair to many working families that cannot afford to visit their own state parks.