Transparency and Openness in Government
Transparency and openness are fundamental to democracy and the public deserves the chance to give input on new laws and budgets.
Ensuring the public has input on the state budget
The 2017 legislative session's budget process was a secretive disaster that allowed for very little public review and input. In 2018 the legislature rushed though and passed SB 6617 designed to keep numerous legislative records secret. This was done in response to a judge interpreting the law, that was current at the time, as requiring the legislature to open their records. If elected I will work ensure a much more open process.
These days we see congress members refusing to meet with constituents, and our state and federal governments creating budgets in secret behind closed doors. This is wrong. As a city council member, my records have been open and public from day one. I have made myself available by email and phone, and meet regularly with community members. If elected, I will keep my door open, and look for opportunities to increase government openness and transparency.
In 2017 in the Washington State Legislature the Democrats and Republicans negotiated on the budget in secret through three extended legislative sessions and only reached an agreement just days before the government was to shut down. The public was given less than 24 hours to review a budget that was about 1,000 pages long. In it were major tax shifts that made property owners and renters in urban areas pay more for public schools while rural areas pay less. Other sources of revenue that would have been easier on the average person in urban areas to afford were not passed. While two tax loopholes were closed, thirteen more were opened. This was a process that was completed in the dark and literally behind closed doors. This is not an acceptable way for the legislature to conduct business.