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Washington State Senate District 16

During legislative sessions, the Legislature is called upon to: enact or reject legislation affecting public policy in the state; provide for the levy and collection of taxes and other revenue to support state government and assist local government; and appropriate funds for these purposes. The Senate also has the exclusive power to confirm certain gubernatorial appointments. Although laws are enacted only when the Legislature is convened in formal session, policy issues and the general operation of state and local government are under continuous review by legislators serving on permanent and interim study committees.

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  • Candidate picture

    Perry Dozier

  • Candidate picture

    Danielle Garbe Reser

Biographical Information

What mix of actions do you believe need to be taken to close the budget gap for the next biennium?

What would you do to promote a vibrant economy in our area?

What kinds of policies, if any, will you pursue to promote social and racial justice in our community?

What do you think of the guidelines set up by the OSPI for opening schools?

How important do you think it is for our state’s students to have access to affordable higher education, including trade schools?

If you think it is important, where might the funding come from? If not, why not?

Looking forward ten or twenty years, do you foresee possible water shortages in Eastern Washington for both agriculture and community/personal use? If so, are there things that could be done to better prepare?

Party Preference Republican
Experience (Max 500 characters) Walla Walla County Commissioner 2009-2016 Chairman 3 years, Budget Committee 5 years, Washington Association of Wheat Growers, Past President, Washington State Barley Commissioner, Northwest Grain Growers Board of Directors, Past President Owner/Operator dryland and irrigated farming operation, Walla Walla Planning Commissioner, Greater Behavioral Health Board, Aging and Long Term Care Board, WorkSource Walla Walla Board Snake River Salmon Recovery Board Walla Walla Watershed Partnership Board
Campaign Phone (509) 337-2137
Town where you live Waitsburg, WA
Closing the budget gap is growing much more difficult the longer we have business shut down or operating under capacity. The reason being is that when we have a vibrant economy and people are employed and business is doing well the state is collecting a wealth of taxes of various forms which is where the states revenue is derived from. With this in mind we are going to face a much larger deficit the longer this situation continues. The obvious action is to re-open our businesses. Your most essential services provided to the residents need to be maintained first and others not as vital will need to have reductions in their budgets. Though increasing taxes to generate more revenue may sound like a solution I feel that it will only hurt the businesses recover as they are already cash deficient.
To promote a vibrant economy I feel that will be achieved by returning people back to work. When people are employed they will have more disposable income which is then spent in our communities. I term this as roll-over dollars since the continue to be passed on from person to person. We will need to help jump start our businesses that were shut down with tax relief such as B & O or forgiveness of a portion of sales taxes paid. The higher the employment numbers we can attain the stronger the economy will be.
Racial Justice means having policies, beliefs, practices, attitudes, and actions that promote equal opportunity and treatment for people of all races. It’s important to note that racial justice is both an induvial and government responsibility. It’s the responsibility of you as an individual citizen to believe in and support racial justice just as it is the governments. In my years of service within the 16th district I have always supported social and racial justice. Equality is the backbone of our society and communities.
I believe that the guidelines that the 4 points put forth in OSPI’s commitment to reopen which are 1. Support Students Furthest from Educational Justice 2. Prepare for Health and Safety 3. Invest in Connectivity and Hardware. 4. Leverage Local Expertise and Provide Training is a great foundation for reopening. The health of our students along as their mental health is forefront. Having ample technology and training our teachers on the use of this technology is very important to be able to help our students achieve in the new environment.
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The primary source of funding for our community colleges come from the state, tuition revenue, and local property taxes. We need to continue this funding at the some level and not shift any tax revenue away to support other programs. I feel that our K-12 system is the foundation for higher education and we need to provide an opportunity for all students who wish to reach the nest level to be provided with tools and avenues to reach that goal. Trade schools and our community colleges will be very important in the recovery of our economy as those that may not be able to return to the job they had will seek education or training to enter another field of work.
Our two sources of water are surface water and ground water. Surface water flows are dictated by the snow pack we receive in our mountains. This does fluctuate based not only the snow pack but also the rate at which it melts. Irrigators are subject to the amount of water allowed by their water right and the flow in the rivers. Ground water is also subject to the water right. The potential problem may come lowering water levels due to growth. We could see shallow ground water aquifer levels drop if growth is not monitored.
Party Preference Democratic
Experience (Max 500 characters) My first day serving our country was September 10, 2001. My diplomatic career spanned nearly 14 years in both Republican and Democratic administrations with assignments in Jakarta, Beirut, the White House, and the Department of Energy. Originally from Moses Lake, I returned to Walla Walla in 2015 as CEO of Sherwood Trust, a $30 million foundation that invests in jobs, infrastructure, and training. I have a BA from Whitman College and a Master in Public Administration from Columbia University.
Campaign Phone (509) 593-8171
Campaign Email
Town where you live Walla Walla
Twitter @dgarbereser
To compensate for a $8.8 billion deficit, we need to start by advocating for full funding from federal assistance owed to our state, counties, and cities. We likely need to cut the new spending that was approved in January 2020; Governor Inslee vetoed some new funding but did not go far enough. We will have some flexibility thanks to the “rainy day fund,” but we will likely need agencies and the public to identify where services can be cut. I do not support an income tax.

From my role in philanthropy, I saw how major budget cuts in our state contributed to more complex and expensive problems later -- like mental health and homelessness. We will have pressure to cut drastically now, but we need to be wise about cutting in ways that will still give us the best opportunity to restart our economy and won’t hurt us and the economy down the road. We will need our business and philanthropic sectors to partner with us in finding the best solutions for tackling these challenges.
Thank you to groups across our district, like Tri-Dec, our chambers of commerce, our ports, cities, and our nonprofits for pulling together to support local businesses and help our economy and our families. These kinds of coalitions are key to getting our economies restarted.

Our small businesses need access to capital, safety equipment, and even grants to weather this downturn. We need to make sure Olympia is not creating more hurdles that just make it harder to make ends meet. Families need access to child care and early learning services so parents can go back to work and so we give our kids the strongest starts possible.

We can help businesses of all kinds, including our agriculture industry, by continuing to invest in key infrastructure needs -- completing Highway 12, building overpasses in Pasco, and ensuring access to broadband services -- and supporting the training needed to have a highly qualified workforce through apprenticeships or community college partnerships.
Our great state should not have different health or education outcomes because of race, ethnicity, economic status, or our Zip code, but too often these disparities exist. By working with an equity lens and making sure we collect and use data to drive our decisions, we can make sure future laws and policies are fair, and we can target our investments into the communities that need them the most.

I will take what I learned at Sherwood Trust with me to Olympia to help make our legislature more accessible and inclusive. We created cross-cultural bridges in our community by listening to stakeholders and identifying key needs. We worked together to create new grant systems and invest in new organizations serving our Latino community. We made community meetings more accessible by providing funding for child care, food, or translation. We offered free training for our community on diversity, equity, and inclusion to help our region be more welcoming to all residents.
Thank you to our region’s superintendents, teachers, and staff for the incredible flexibility and leadership you have shown to transform your operations in response to this crisis. I appreciate everyone's hard work in facing the challenge of managing this fall with so many unknowns. Thank you for rising to this challenge and for your dedication to serving our district’s students.

OSPI’s guidance prioritizes: health and safety, local decision-making, and planning for a range of contingencies from fully in-person to fully on-line learning, knowing that most districts will need a mix of options to best serve their students. A “one size fits all” approach does not work for our districts, so this flexibility allows our region to respond to the needs of our students as our local administrators see fit. Importantly, it also recognizes that not all students have access to computers or the internet, so investments in these tools will be critical to ensuring all students can thrive.
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We should work in partnership with the federal government to ensure we are receiving all the funds owed to us, and we should explore partnerships with philanthropic groups, colleges, and businesses that have resources outside government funding but share the mission of investing in a skilled workforce.

Our community colleges, CBC and WWCC, are critical assets for our local economies to provide a local workforce and help workers skill up or retrain into new fields. We need these institutions to be resilient partners in our efforts to get our economy back on track and residents back to work.

Additionally, I fully support efforts to create, maintain, and expand existing apprenticeship programs in the construction trades, especially the opportunities created for students and veterans in these programs. As our economy changes, we have to keep up with demand and encourage students to pursue all kinds of post-secondary options and we need to make them affordable.
Water shortages are a problem now and are becoming more acute. Our farm has creeks that have started to dry up in the summer, even with senior water rights, which destroys wildlife and habitat. We need to maintain access to water across our region so our agricultural businesses can continue to thrive, from irrigating our crops to processing food products.

Unlike my opponent, I oppose bottling water. We need to support long-term planning efforts that will keep our economy and communities resilient in the face of more extreme weather like we have been seeing from fires, floods, and droughts and protect against losing our water rights to private equity firms and foreign interests. We should prioritize local efforts, like the Walla Walla Water 2050 initiative, that gather stakeholders to determine how best to manage that watershed. We all need to be good stewards of our natural resources and make decisions that are wise both for today and for future generations.