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Chase vs. Rion

Seeking her third term as a state representative, Democrat Maralyn Chase said what she sees as the two key issues in the local elections are undoubtedly intertwined.

“It all ties together,” she said. “The economy and education must come together.”

Along with Republican challenger Alex Rion, Chase is running for the Position One seat in state District 32. The district stretches into north King County, but includes Kenmore.

Chase and Rion were the top two vote getters in a three-way race during the August primary election. Chase was well out in front, earning 64 percent of the vote, while Rion earned 26 percent.

Rion was not available for comment for this story. On his campaign Web site, under the heading of spending and taxes, he talks a lot about reducing government spending.

“If the budget isn’t balancing,” Rion said, “spend less money. If there isn’t enough money to meet the state’s basic needs — education and adequate transportation chief among them — spend less money on something else to meet the state’s basic needs.”

Rion added Chase was part of a legislature that oversaw a 33-percent increase in the state budget, growth in spending that has led to what he called a projected budget deficit of over $2 billion.

For her part, Chase said tax revenues, particularly sales taxes, have declined, so the question to her is how does Washington continue to offer basic services. She believes one answer is a graduated state income tax affecting persons making over $250,000 a year. Chase emphasized any Washington income tax only could be imposed on the wealthiest of residents.

“Most of us can not afford to pay more taxes,” she said.

For Chase, another way to boost the economy clearly is through education. She said Washington’s educational system needs to feed into what she believes will be a growing business sector, namely environmentally sound or green technologies and businesses. Chase believes the state’s community colleges should be on the front line in preparing students for participation in clean technology.

Addressing a strictly local issue, Chase said because of a slumping economy, she couldn’t support any further physical expansion of the University of Washington, Bothell.

“We just can’t do that right now,” she said.

At the same time, Chase added she would support the possibility of a new college campus in northern Snohomish County, but said that school should probably be a community college, not necessarily a four-year university as currently envisioned by proponents.

Rion said there is a litmus test that can be used for any education issue.

“There’s only question I have to ask about any policy or legislation: ‘What’s in it for the kids?’”

Rion added that he grew up around teachers, with his mother and grandmother both having been educators.

“I can think of very little in a state budget that should come before education funding,” he said.

If Rion places an emphasis on transportation, Chase did, as well. Chase has come out against Proposition 1, a $17.9 million transportation package being floated on the ballot by Sound Transit. Light rail construction is the highlight of the plan. Instead of light rail, Chase favors increased use of buses as a cheaper alternative, one that could be put in place much quicker.

“People have a reasonable expectation for the state to coordinate their tax dollars in a way that allows them to get where they want, when they want to get there,” Rion said. “We’re giving them our tax dollars. Is it too much to ask to get safe and adequate roads to drive on?”

Rion objected to the Washington Department of Transportation’s plan to “manage demand.” To him, he said that plan sounds like the imposition of more traffic metering, lane control, cameras and tolls, all of which he sees as making roads less usable.

Chase wanted to touch on one other subject, namely the environment, particularly the issue of climate change.

“It’s here and it’s real,” she said. “Whatever we can do to address that, we need to do.”

Seeking her third term as a state representative, Democrat Maralyn Chase said what she sees as the two key issues in the local elections are undoubtedly intertwined.

“It all ties together,” she said. “The economy and education must come together.”

Along with Republican challenger Alex Rion, Chase is running for the Position One seat in state District 32. The district stretches into north King County, but includes Kenmore.

Chase and Rion were the top two vote getters in a three-way race during the August primary election. Chase was well out in front, earning 64 percent of the vote, while Rion earned 26 percent.

Rion was not available for comment for this story. On his campaign Web site, under the heading of spending and taxes, he talks a lot about reducing government spending.

“If the budget isn’t balancing,” Rion said, “spend less money. If there isn’t enough money to meet the state’s basic needs — education and adequate transportation chief among them — spend less money on something else to meet the state’s basic needs.”

Rion added Chase was part of a legislature that oversaw a 33-percent increase in the state budget, growth in spending that has led to what he called a projected budget deficit of over $2 billion.

For her part, Chase said tax revenues, particularly sales taxes, have declined, so the question to her is how does Washington continue to offer basic services. She believes one answer is a graduated state income tax affecting persons making over $250,000 a year. Chase emphasized any Washington income tax only could be imposed on the wealthiest of residents.

“Most of us can not afford to pay more taxes,” she said.

For Chase, another way to boost the economy clearly is through education. She said Washington’s educational system needs to feed into what she believes will be a growing business sector, namely environmentally sound or green technologies and businesses. Chase believes the state’s community colleges should be on the front line in preparing students for participation in clean technology.

Addressing a strictly local issue, Chase said because of a slumping economy, she couldn’t support any further physical expansion of the University of Washington, Bothell.

“We just can’t do that right now,” she said.

At the same time, Chase added she would support the possibility of a new college campus in northern Snohomish County, but said that school should probably be a community college, not necessarily a four-year university as currently envisioned by proponents.

Rion said there is a litmus test that can be used for any education issue.

“There’s only question I have to ask about any policy or legislation: ‘What’s in it for the kids?’”

Rion added that he grew up around teachers, with his mother and grandmother both having been educators.

“I can think of very little in a state budget that should come before education funding,” he said.

If Rion places an emphasis on transportation, Chase did, as well. Chase has come out against Proposition 1, a $17.9 million transportation package being floated on the ballot by Sound Transit. Light rail construction is the highlight of the plan. Instead of light rail, Chase favors increased use of buses as a cheaper alternative, one that could be put in place much quicker.

“People have a reasonable expectation for the state to coordinate their tax dollars in a way that allows them to get where they want, when they want to get there,” Rion said. “We’re giving them our tax dollars. Is it too much to ask to get safe and adequate roads to drive on?”

Rion objected to the Washington Department of Transportation’s plan to “manage demand.” To him, he said that plan sounds like the imposition of more traffic metering, lane control, cameras and tolls, all of which he sees as making roads less usable.

Chase wanted to touch on one other subject, namely the environment, particularly the issue of climate change.

“It’s here and it’s real,” she said. “Whatever we can do to address that, we need to do.”

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