Thank you!

Friends, I can’t express my thanks and appreciation enough for all the friendship and support I received during my campaign. I am truly humbled and grateful to be elected as your next State Representative.

 

My goal and my passion and my mission and my charge is to work as hard as possible to make our great State even greater over the coming months and years. I have one promise: Work hard to improve the quality of life we enjoy.

 

In Washington we accomplished so much during this election.

 

    • We led the way with a substantial increase in minimum wages for our low-income workers.
    • We passed a reasonable and responsible gun safety measure that will inevitably save countless lives and needless injuries.
    • We sent a strong message to Congress that we reject big unregulated money in politics.

 

I am filled with optimism and hope for the future of our State and the leadership we can provide to the rest of our nation. I am so honored to have the opportunity to play a role in our State’s future direction.

 

As a member of the Washington State Legislature, I will work to finally and fully fund basic education. I will support funding for construction of new schools and new public infrastructure projects.

 

I will oppose those who want to sell off our public lands to the highest bidders. I will ensure that our environment is protected for future generations. I will work to fund environmental restoration and cleanup projects. I will look to support initiatives that slow or stop the impacts of climate change.

 

I will work to fund programs that provide low-income housing to ease the homelessness crisis we face. I will work to protect our citizens from gun violence. I will support funding for chemical dependency and mental health programs along with accessible and affordable health care for all. I promise to work hard to ensure our social safety net is maintained and enhanced to protect the most vulnerable among us. I will protect pension plans from budgetary gimmicks which reduce benefits.

 

I strongly believe we must reform our regressive tax code that overtaxes our retirees, our low/middle class, and our small business owners in the 24th Legislative District, while under-taxing large corporations and the very wealthy. Washington’s current tax structure has our poorest families paying about 7 times more of their income in taxes than the top 5%. The answer is not in higher taxes but in a fairer tax structure for all.

 

And finally, I will not rest until we see new economic opportunities with increased employment for our middle-class workers. We need to promote real wage growth with increased benefits. We need an economy that works for everyone — not just a select few!

 

These are the reasons I ran to be your State Legislator, but I need your help. I will work hard to make you proud of our community and our State.

 

Bobbi and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your friendship and support during our campaign. We look forward to many more miles of our journey together.

 

Best wishes to all of you!

 

Mike Chapman

State Budget Talking Points from House Democrats

The mantra of “fund education first” sounds good until you scratch the surface of their clever bumper sticker to find that that approach would result in decimating services and programs that Democrats care deeply about.

Yes, we should meet our constitutional obligation to fund k-12 education, but we also have a moral obligation to ensure that the 35,500 homeless children in our state can learn. We have a moral obligation to care for our elderly, our children, those with mental illnesses, those with developmental disabilities and those who lack basic human services.

Here are the facts:

  • The state budget has been cut by over $12 billion dollars since 2008. These were real cuts to real people. Basic food, housing, and healthcare programs were slashed. It has only been in the last few years that we’ve been able to restore some of those cuts and begin investing in the future.
  • 2/3rds of the state budget is protected by constitutional or federal requirements. This means cuts must come from the remaining 1/3rd of the budget.
  • The largest unprotected/non-k-12 education-related spending includes:
  • Low-income health care
  • Long-term care for seniors
  • Developmental Disabilities services
  • Mental health programs (we just invested $40.9 million in our supplemental budget for more nurses, mobile crisis teams and youth mental health services at our state and community mental health institutions. More investments will be needed to address ongoing staffing shortages and adequate space in our facilities to avoid mental health “boarding”)
  • DSHS Children’s Administration (child protective investigations, services for abused and neglected children, etc.). We need to make additional investments as caseloads increase.
  • DSHS Economic Services Administration (TANF, basic food services, etc.)
  • Corrections
  • Juvenile rehabilitation services
  • Special commitment center (houses the state’s most dangerous sex offenders).
  • Higher education

Unless we are able to raise substantial new revenue, a fund education first budget would in actuality be a fund education only budget. Public safety, public health and those in need of basic human services would be at risk.

In addition, there would be no capacity to fund collective bargaining contracts for some of our lowest paid workers such as childcare workers and home care workers. State employees perform some of the most dangerous and thankless jobs and they deserve a fair wage. They staff our mental health hospitals, ensure our roads are safe and provide much-needed services to the most vulnerable Washingtonians.

Providing competitive wages through collective bargaining contracts allows us to attract and retain the best workers and ensures high quality of state services.