Session 2 Week 6

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The past week and a half have been challenging. I attempted to make a decision on an issue from my fiscally conservative point of view of low taxes and trying to find other sources of funding before increasing taxes. “Trying” was the key that made my decision. We kept trying but nothing solid ever seemed to develop.

 

I was never against giving teachers raises; the opposition to 1182 was not to subvert the will of the people or not give teachers raises, it was to make sure we had exhausted all other options first; it was to make sure we had done our due diligence in managing your money. I fully believed that had we looked at some of the other options we could have passed no, or a lower, tax increase. We also hesitated doing this tax increase so rapidly because of government’s seemingly inevitable and uncanny ability of whittling away at money until it’s dispersed into so many different areas and projects that we wonder where it went.

 

I think the main concern among the opposition was that we wanted to make sure we got it right before passing the tax increase so that we don’t find ourselves back in this same position in a few years wondering “where did all the money go?” Unfortunately teachers took the no vote as a lack of appreciation and support from the state, which was never the desire of myself, or any representative who voted “no”.

 

 

Had  someone convinced me that they had found money that was sustainable I would not have voted for this bill.

 

However all I heard was a loud portion of my constituency saying we must do something now for teachers’ salaries. I consider it my duty when I see problems with a popular movement that has resulted in legislation to bring those problems to light and the likely ramifications of them if a bill passes. I believe I did this through my recent articles. But should you, the people, listen to my views and still want the legislation, it is my duty to represent your views even if it causes personal conflict because of my own political philosophy.

 

 

To those who are probably disappointed with me in changing my vote I want to first say thank you for all the quiet whispers of support after my original no vote, but if you’re opposed to something and really mean it and want to see an issue defeated or dealt with in a different manner it takes more than 23 people to take a stand. Some of the legislators who voted no have already experienced financial losses due to people taking their business elsewhere because of their vote; others may decide not to run for office again because the backlash was so heavy. It’s a sad statement of our culture, but you have to be the change you want to see in your community and your state.

 

Now with the big education funding bill behind us we look forward to the Senate bills that have the proposed changes to the funding formula. I have already heard concerns from some of the smaller school districts that this will not be good for them. Since I’ve been spending all my time and energy on the House bills I haven’t taken much time to look at them, but I hope all the schools in District 20 take a good look at these bills now and determine if this will actually be a good idea, and if they see somethin g that needs to be changed to tell us so that we get it right. I think the smaller the school size the more pressure you will see to consolidate due to the new student/teacher ratio.

 

I am against the equalization of the wind tower tax. Unlike the districts with a pipeline or other alternative revenue sources, the districts who have wind towers have given up some of their landscape in exchange for money they accepted in an effort to better their local school district without being an added burden to the entire state and that’s something to be proud of. However, to take the money from those schools that already have the wind towers in place is unacceptable and I will attempt to take that out of the proposed legislation.

 

Let it never be said that I don’t do my best to represent the people of District 20, however I do have to make a clarification that when it comes to issues of moral significance I will always adhere to my Biblical worldview no matter the cost.

 

It is an honor serving as your Representative. I appreciate hearing from you, I apologize if you haven’t received a response to your email or phone call, but as you may suspect I’ve been quite swamped and I’m a one man team.