Maralyn on the Issues
Solving Income & Property Tax Inequality
A successful society is one that works for all. No one who works 40-hours a week should live in poverty. We must tackle wealth and income inequality as the gap between the very rich and everyone else is now wider than at any time since the 1920s.
Washington State's tax system is the most regressive in the entire United States. Low-income people pay almost 20% of their income in taxes while wealthy people pay about 2%.
High property taxes are pricing people out and pushing people out of their homes and communities. B&O taxes drain local and small businesses of growth potential. There are currently $50.3 billion in tax exemptions at the state level and $55.5 billion at the local level. Therefore our state's total tax exemptions are $105.9 billion.
Taxes could be restructured on homes such that they would only increase at a certain rate while the owner occupies the home. Then the property tax could be reset when the house is sold to reflect the appreciated value.
We should forbid taxing utilities such as water, sewer and lights, which are infrastructure that everyone needs and are necessary for survival. Currently there is no cap on what municipalities can charge for water and sewer utility taxes.
Intangible property, meaning stocks and bonds, should be included in the tax base as intended by the Washington State Constitution. This would not directly reduce taxes but rather increase the size of the tax base. When tax funds are needed in order to fund the budgets of various elected bodies that amount would then be spread over a larger base. This would result in lower taxes for some and a new tax on those who previously were exempted from paying taxes on stocks and bonds. Retirement funds would be excluded.
The solution is fair taxes for all.
Continue to Strengthen Public Education
High quality public education is critical to the well-being of Washington's students as a key component of equity and vital for our shared future. It is crucial to keep class sizes small, use standardized testing sparingly, support the teaching of critical thinking skills, and keep public dollars in public education.
Universal health care
Healthcare is a human right and single-payer health care is the solution. Everyone in, nobody out! Too many people are one accident or illness away from losing everything, and 62% of bankruptcies are due to medical bills. Single payer covers all medically necessary care, reduces costs and is accountable to the public. Lower costs, better outcomes.
Senator Chase is a NARAL Pro-Choice Washington 100% Pro-Choice Candidate!
Economic growth & prosperity
Our state needs a strategy for economic growth in which our businesses can successfully compete in the domestic and international markets while increasing the standard of living of our citizens. Local, small and middle market businesses are the backbone of economic prosperity in our communities and are the driving force of economic recovery in our state.
Affirmative action: yes / preferential treatment: no
A WSDOT study that clearly demonstrated passive discrimination against African Americans in our state coupled with changing sentiment in the general public for fairness and inclusion make it clear that now is the time to re-establish Affirmative Action in our state. It will take the joint efforts of our politicians and the public to ensure equal opportunity and access to education, construction contracts, and public-sector services.
Common sense gun legislation
Gun violence is a heartbreaking epidemic in Washington State and our country. We have fallen down in our responsibility to keep people and especially our children safe. In Washington we have already taken steps, such as banning bump stocks in the 2018 legislative session, but we can and must do more. I support raising the age to purchase a semi-automatic assault rifle to 21 and requiring that people go through expanded background checks already required for handgun buyers. Gun operation licenses should require renewals just like drivers licenses. People with criminal backgrounds and those who have been involved in domestic abuse should not receive gun operation licenses.
We need Congress to renew the assault weapons ban, end the sale of high capacity magazines, and make gun trafficking a federal crime. Type of guns exclusively used to kill people, not for hunting, should not be sold in the U.S..
I commend the Edmonds City Council who boldly passed ordinances requiring lock boxes for firearms and dealing with lost and stolen firearms. This is especially important because suicides make up 75% of firearm deaths in Washington State.
Life-long learning: a workforce ready for new economic possibilities
In the future, some occupations will grow, others will decline, and new ones we cannot yet envision will be created. While few occupations are fully automatable, 60% of all occupations have at least 30% technically automatable activities. Artificial Intelligence and robotics will change or replace some jobs, while others will be created. Thousands of people in our state may need to switch occupations and upgrade skills.
With Washington State's burgeoning population we need long-term funding and planning to keep people and the economy moving. We must coordinate the multiple city, county and regional agencies that make up Washington's transit network. According to Sound Transit 3’s own estimates, there will be only a 4.5% increase of riders choosing Sound Transit 3 instead of buses. Sound Transit 3 admits that their plan will not solve our I-5 congestion problem. The real solution would be to call for increased rapid bus transit, coupled with north/south lines and east/west lines, and added connector vans.
Metropolitan and rural broadband infrastructure
Broadband is as crucial to communities as roads and bridges. If a community does not have broadband they are not able to participate in the economy. We must expand government support for broadband infrastructure. Broadband for all!
Energy & the environment
We need policy to counter climate change and mitigate its damaging effects to the economy and environment in Washington State. We need to support carbon free solar and non-fossil fuel energy development. Policies must move toward sustainable development to protect agriculture, the economy and biodiversity, rather than short-sighted exploitation of the environment. This is the urgent threat and defining challenge of our time.
State bank: keeping our tax dollars working in our state
Let's make our tax dollars work for the people of Washington State to provide crucial funds for infrastructure, student loans, and building schools and roads with no interest charges. Also, student loans could be renegotiated. A state bank could offer funding for schools and roads at near zero percent interest instead of paying 4-5% interest to Wall St. banks. A state bank could cut local property taxes in half and create thousands of good paying jobs.
Under our current policies, 40,000 children in our public schools are unsheltered along with their families totaling about 120,000 unsheltered individuals. There are many more.
The state needs a Department of Housing, similar in scope to the Department of Transportation. Publicly provided housing could be made available across the state as part of infrastructure. We could develop housing stock similar to what is done in Singapore. It is the largest, most wealthy city in the world and has solved the housing challenge. They have built housing that people want to live in, the majority are large, 3 bedroom apartments that residents can purchase for 99 years. We are currently faced with huge housing instability due to lack of available and affordable housing and skyrocketing rents. We must assure fair housing opportunities for all. The current housing crisis demands a public solution.
We have to stop pushing out and pricing out the poor, the elderly, the young from every city.
Reversing the opioid crisis
Opioids are now the leading cause of accidental deaths in Washington State. Snohomish is one of the counties hit hardest and it grows worse. However, Snohomish County's program of providing Naloxone to first responders is effectively preventing overdose deaths.
Our families and communities continue to be devastated by the consequences of addiction and preventable opioid deaths. It is crucial that city, county, and state agencies coordinate and recognize the opioid crisis as a health problem and treat it as a medical condition rather than a crime.
In 2018, I co-sponsored a bill to addressing this crisis. The Supplemental Budget passed by the 2018 Legislature funds treatment programs, distribution of Naloxone, development of an overdose monitoring system, and increased treatment programs.
I applaud Snohomish County's excellent Opioid Project, the City of Everett's lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, and the City of Seattle and King County's effort to provide a safe injection sites.
Given the erosion of citizens’ rights and our public safety net, we depend on our state to defend its citizens, economy and environment. I am committed to single-payer healthcare, quality public education and affordable housing. Washington State provides leadership by asserting its authority to protect our precious resources, immigration rights, net neutrality, free speech, and amendment rights.
Kudos to State Attorney General Bob Ferguson and other state attorneys general, for leadership on net neutrality and the related legal challenge to the FCC’s decision to diminish net neutrality. Also for AG Ferguson's and Governor Inslee’s legal challenge to the Trump administration's prohibition on travelers from seven Middle Eastern countries.
Washington privacy legislation
Citizens, in their interaction with public officials, and consumers, in their interaction with computer data collection enterprises, have the right to privacy of their personal data. The legislature is searching the core tenets of data protection law that would provide the best foundation for privacy legislation in Washington State. The challenge is to identify and implement practices that would protect the privacy of Washingtonians while enabling beneficial uses of data, such as innovation, science and research.
In both public and private data collection, individuals have the right to know what data is collected about them and the purpose for which the data is collected and used.