Learn more about where Rep. Drew Stokesbary stands on the Legislature’s most pressing issues, and policies he will fight for if re-elected
My mom was a teacher in Washington State for 25 years, and her father was a teacher before that. My dad’s parents both taught at the Washington State School for the Deaf. Coming from a family of teachers, I’ve always understood the importance of quality education. I’m proud to have been endorsed by Public School Employees of Washington, the union representing 30,000+ educators and other K-12 school support professionals.
As a father of two young boys, I want good schools more than ever. Schools should have the resources they need to succeed, and we must ensure those resources are used wisely. That’s why I’ve been endorsed once again by Stand for Children, an organization that, like me, “strives to ensure that all children, regardless of their background, graduate high school prepared for, and with access to, college or career training.”
When I was first elected to the Legislature in 2014, the state had already been held in “contempt of court” for failing to constitutionally fund K-12 public schools. A few months later, the Supreme Court ordered a $100,000 per day fine until education was fully funded. Through my work on the House Appropriations and Education Committees and other bipartisan negotiations, I’m proud to have helped create and pass landmark education funding reform legislation in 2017. The new system dramatically increased funding for Auburn, Enumclaw, Sumner, White River, Carbonado and Dieringer School Districts (while still reducing total property taxes for those districts starting next year), increases the accountability and transparency of your tax dollars, and ensures K-12 funds are spent on things that matter like textbooks and smaller class sizes.
Kids deserve our first dollar, not our last dime. I will continue be your advocate for better schools and better outcomes.
Taxes, Jobs & the Economy
I have served on the House Finance Committee for all three of my terms in the State House. There I have helped defeat tens of billions of dollars worth of new taxes proposed by the Governor and majority-party Democrats, including new or additional taxes on income you earn, energy you consume, bottled water you drink, services you hire professionals to perform, the house you sell, the car you trade in, and the things you buy on the internet.
Since I was first elected in 2014, biennial state general fund spending was $33 billion. Now the budget has ballooned to well over $50 billion, an increase of nearly 70 percent increase in just six years. (Has your own household income risen by 70 percent since 2014?) With our economy struggling from coronavirus and the risk of a recession, or even a full-fledged depression, higher than ever, now is not the time to continue raising taxes.
Instead of more taxes, the Legislature needs to better prioritize state spending. As the chief budget writer for the House Republicans, I’ve worked hard to identify and eliminate waste, fraud and abuse, but far more remains to be done. We must also reform our state budget process to avoid committing to such large and rapid spending increases. I’ll continue pushing for these reforms if I’m re-elected.
As Washington recovers from this unprecedented public health crisis, I want to ensure the economy is opened quickly but safely and there is an opportunity for all Washingtonians to be successful. That’s why the latest idea out of Seattle, to levy a tax on businesses for employees they hire, is so misguided. In Olympia, I’ll continue to advocate for policies that grow the economy and create jobs, not ones that disincentive hiring.