15th District lawmakers spell out priorities for 2015 session and invite constituents to telephone town hall

The 2015 legislative session has begun and lawmakers from the 15th Legislative District have made the trek to Olympia and are working hard on behalf of citizens from the Yakima region.

Rep. Bruce Chandler, R-Granger, was again chosen by his peers to serve as the ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee where he will lead House Republican efforts to craft a predictable, sustainable and transparent two-year operating budget.

“We will no doubt have challenges in front of us as we address the rising costs of state services, the need for more education funding, continuing lawsuits against the state, and the increased costs due to the recent wildfires,” said Chandler, R-Granger. “But I’m confident we can do these things within the allotted 105 days of session and within the framework of the state’s existing revenues, which are estimated to be about $3 billion more than the last budget cycle.”

Governor Jay Inslee kicked off the session by revealing his budget, which increases state spending by more than 15 percent while raising nearly $1.5 billion in new taxes.  His proposal was received with skepticism from many in Olympia who think raising taxes during a struggling economy is a bad idea.

“When I talk to the folks back home in my district, I’m continually reminded that things have not bounced back – economically – like they were before the recession,” said Chandler.  “Taking more from our taxpayers while they struggle to recover is the wrong thing to do.  The state is expecting an eight percent increase in revenues; I think most families in Washington would love to see that kind of increase, and they may not for some time.  We should let folks catch their breath by working diligently to make the state live within its means.”

Chandler will also continue to serve on the House Agriculture and Natural Resource Committee, where his background as an orchardist and his involvement in water storage policies continues to make an impact.

Chandler’s seatmate, Rep. David Taylor, R-Moxee, will also serve on the House Appropriations Committee.  In addition, he will serve on the House Environment Committee and is the ranking Republican on the House Local Government Committee.

“The people I represent know exactly where I stand on the issues and that at the end of the day, I’m all about less government, lower taxes and more freedom,” said Taylor.  “With the committees I’m assigned to, I expect to have the opportunity to review burdensome regulations – both exiting and within the context of new legislation – and point out to my colleagues how the continued expansion of government bureaucracies harms the average person more often than not.”

Taylor, who last year successfully pushed forward bipartisan legislation addressing drones and privacy issues, expects the issue of drone use by public agencies to be a hot button.

“The governor vetoed our drone bill last year and then convened a study group,” said Taylor.  “What I’m hearing so far is that his drone proposal will do very little to satisfy those of us concerned about privacy rights and the use of new technologies in the hands of the state for regulatory purposes.  The irony is, after his veto and his study group, the best solution still looks to be the one that passed the Legislature in a bipartisan fashion last year.”

Both Taylor and Chandler expressed their desire to hear from constituents via e-mail, phone calls and letters in order to best represent them and their interests in Olympia.  They’ve also scheduled a telephone town hall for Tuesday, Jan. 20 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and invite all 15th District residents to participate if able.

To take part in the call, residents can dial in at (509) 378-3074.  The phone line will open shortly before the call begins. To ask questions of the lawmakers during the call, participants can press star (*) on their telephone keypads.

The lawmakers will give a brief update on issues being discussed during the legislative session then open the call up to questions.

For more information about Rep. Chandler, visit:  www.representativebrucechandler.com.

For more information about Rep. Taylor, visit: www.representativedavidtaylor.com.

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Rep. Chandler’s media:
official portrait  silent b-roll  photos on Flickr  YouTube videos  podcast

Washington State House Republican Communications
www.houserepublicans.wa.gov
461 John L. O’Brien Building
P.O. Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov