A Track Record of Initiative
Washington State is fortunate to have a very good system of providing information to citizens about their legislators voting records, bills they have introduced, and their communications with the press and the public. The links below provide access to a wealth of information about my track record and activities while representing you in Olympia. If you have questions about my record, please do e-mail me at the link provided on the Contact page.
Turning things around in tough times takes personal initiative to challenge the status quo and get things moving. Glenn has a strong track record of creative problem solving to face the issues and taking the initiative to getting those ideas into the public debate of the legislature.
Below is a selected list of legislative initiatives Glenn Anderson has originated during his six terms in the state legislature;
Fund Education First
Article IX of our state constitution states that providing a general and uniform basic K12 education to all children is the ‘paramount duty’ of Washington State government. Glenn’s Fund Education First Initiative would require a dedicated K12 budget to be funded, passed and signed by the Governor before the legislature could budget monies for any other program as directed by our state constitution. This initiative has been endorsed as a priority by the Washington state PTSA.
Middle School Guidance Counseling
Successful middle school guidance counseling has a significant impact on getting students through to high school graduation. Students, parents and teachers all need to been on the same page as to what the academic expectations are and the resource available to achieve are. The Navigation 101 program has shown very promising results and is a place we should make a larger investment.
Quality Math & Science Curriculum
Math and science literacy is the key knowledge to understand how our world works and why. Glenn’s initiative to reform state math standards resulted in a successful comprehensive rewrite of state math standards.
Knowing how to manage your money is one of the most basic skills in life that gives any individual more personal freedom to pursue their life goals. It is especially, important for low-income children as they take the opportunities to build a successful life. Glenn continues to push to financial literacy training in all schools and integrated into social service assistance programs.
The decision to pursue an advanced college education can be a challenging choice, but one that can provide a rich lifetime of rewards in many ways. Middle class families make mighty sacrifices to provide that opportunity to their children. Over the last 20 years university tuition costs have skyrocketed and forced many young adults deeply into debt undermining their ability to get a solid start on life. Glenn led the fight against giving state universities unlimited tuition setting authority after both legislative performance auditors and the governor’s budget office stated that the state’s higher education cost management systems had collapsed. Glenn’s initiative would have required fundamental reforms to our college and university system as a condition for additional tuition setting authority.
Remedial Education Reform
When high school graduates seek to attend college they should be prepared to do college-level work. Between 30-50% of entering freshman have to take remedial courses in English and Mathematics, which means the state is effectively paying twice for the same instruction. Glenn’s initiative would allow colleges and universities to charge back to school districts the cost of remedial instruction for those graduates who had not received the necessary level of instruction to be successful.
Budget & Taxes
When first elected to the Legislature Glenn campaigned on getting strong performance audits enacted into law to protect taxpayers and show that they were getting results for their investment. Glenn’s performance audit initiative was enacted into law by Initiative 900 giving the State Auditor the power and funding to conduct independent performance audits of government agencies.
Authority to Levy Taxes & Fees
When government, at any level, imposes a new tax or fee there should be the clear and unambiguous authority to do so, not just an ‘interpretation’ or ‘assumption’. Currently, according to the state Department of Revenue it is unknown how many of the taxes and fees collected by state and local government lack the valid legal authority to be imposed.
Tax Collection Transparency
Many of our state’s taxes are collected through private sector service providers, such as utilities (electric, phone, cable, waste), that consumers must pay to continue to receive service and not damage their credit rating. Glenn continues to fight for the right of consumers to receive annual summary of ‘hidden’ taxes paid through private sectors service providers to assure they are getting their money’s worth.
Every family must have a budget that lives within their means to successfully invest in their future. Government must do exactly the same thing if we are to invest in schools, parks and medical facilities that enhance our quality-of-life. Spending more than you have and expecting someone else to pick up the bill is a lifestyle built on lies. Balanced budgets require choices and priorities.
Rainy Day Fund
When times are good that is the time to save a cushion of money for when times are not so good. The state economy (and budget) will always have ups and downs, but the bad times don’t have to be so dramatic if we keep a reasonable amount saved up for those times. Glenn’s initiative for a state budget ‘rainy day’ fund was successfully enacted into law when voters approved constitutional amendment SJR8206.
Regions with competitive ports have always generated a higher level of individual prosperity that others. In today’s hyper-competitive global economy having three competing port districts in Puget Sound makes absolutely no economic sense. Our state’s port district laws have remained basically unchanged since the founding of the state over 100 years ago and global trade operated in a very different environment. Glenn’s initiative would merge the Seattle, Tacoma and Everett ports into a unified Puget Sound District under a joint state/local governance structure and set clear goals to be successful in global commerce. This initiative would make our state more globally competitive and be a much better deal for taxpayers.
Advanced Manufacturing Growth
The Boeing Company is a tremendous asset to our state’s economic health, but having just one Boeing (or Microsoft) is not enough. Advanced manufacturing where our workforce skills and technological know-how are building the next generation of many different products means high paying jobs. Those advanced manufacturing jobs mean fatter paychecks that can’t be exported just because of low labor costs in emerging countries. It’s also very important that those types of jobs are spread across the state to the best of our ability. Glenn’s initiative to establish competitive industrial land use set asides to attract small and mid-sized manufacturers to rural communities would be a key start to ending rural unemployment.
Corporate Tax Model Restructuring
The state’s current corporate tax structure is a thick barrier to encouraging job creation, especially for small and mid-sized businesses. Equally, the current business tax code is riddled with tax exemptions for those that can afford to influence legislation in Olympia that benefits their interests. We need to start over. Our corporate tax code needs to balance job creation and investment in the physical and educational infrastructure that supports the economic health of the whole state. Glenn’s initiative is to eliminate the current B & O tax on gross business sales and all exemptions and replace it with a low flat rate corporate income tax, with small businesses generating less than $1 million in net income exempt. Glenn’s initiative is conditioned on no personal income tax to be levied.
Equal Pay for Equal Work
Our state’s laws on gender pay equity haven’t fundamentally changed since 1943 and ‘Rosie the Riveter’ building B-17 bombers forced a change in state law. Over 65 years later, including the Feminist Movement’, women still on average make 25% less than their male counterparts for comparable work in Washington. That discrimination in equal pay for equal work is just plain primitive in today’s economy. While federal law controls much on this issue, Glenn’s initiative was meant to be the discussion starter for what our state can do to take the initiative and set a national example on how to close the equal pay for equal work gap.
There is no time for government to perform with more urgency and with direct intervention than when there is a catastrophic natural or terroristic event. Glenn’s initiative passed into law after the 911 New York attack on our nation to upgrade our first responder communications networks provided a much needed review and recommendations for improvement. Unfortunately, much remains to be done to fully implement those recommendations and overcome bureaucratic infighting.
Citizenship Required for Benefits
Citizenship is the passkey to accessing the benefits that the American social contract provides to all that believe in the ideals and rules of our nation. It is our most fundamental civil right that provides all others. If there is no belief that participating in our social contract as a citizen is a benefit, then why should anybody support the institutions that provide those benefits? Glenn’s initiatives to require positive proof of citizenship to 1) register to vote, 2) get a driver’s license and 3) to be employed by a government agency or program are all designed to assure that those who do play by the rules receive the benefits to which they may be entitled from our state. The state should significantly increase its efforts to fund and support those individuals seeking naturalized citizenship.