Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Monday, December 10, 2018  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
32˚Partly Cloudy Night

Candidates on the Issues

The Spokesman-Review asked the candidates for State House, Position 1, Legislative District 6 seven questions about different issues. Below are the questions and each candidate's stance on the issue.

Kip Hillkiph@spokesman.com

Select issue:

ISSUE:

Do you support a carbon emissions tax like the one proposed in Initiative 732?


Lynnette Vehrs (D) No
Supports concept, but not initiative. "We need to have something that legitimately slows down the carbon, and pushes us more to sustainable energy sources."



Mike Volz (R) No
"It's a job-killer."

Barry Pfundt (N) No
"I am concerned about unintended consequences to certain industries, particularly farmers."

Ian Field (R) No


Samuel Canty (R) No
The initiative "tries to do a lot of things, instead of doing one thing well."

ISSUE:

Would you support replacing the business and occupation tax on gross receipts with another tax? If so, what tax?


Lynnette Vehrs (D) Uncommitted
"I do think that sometimes there's too much pressed onto our businesses."



Mike Volz (R) Yes
Replace the B&O tax, at a minimum, with a tax based on gross receipts, but believes cost savings in other areas can eliminate need for business taxes.

Barry Pfundt (N) Yes
Reforms should be part of changes to overall tax system.

Ian Field (R) No
But says state needs to look at ways to make tax structure "more fair."

Samuel Canty (R) Yes
Replace B&O tax with something similar to other states, which allow for deductions based on labor, materials and other costs.

ISSUE:

Do you agree with the state Supreme Court's McCleary decision that the state has not properly funded public schools? If so, how would you pay for changes in 2017-19?


Lynnette Vehrs (D) Yes
Yes, because of court's authority. "We have to honor our institutions, agree with them or not. The Supreme Court said this, we need to abide by it."



Mike Volz (R) No


Barry Pfundt (N) Yes
Yes, but the courts shouldn't have had to weigh in. Politicians should have corrected problem long ago.

Ian Field (R) No
"I don't think it was helpful for the court to weigh in."

Samuel Canty (R) Uncommitted
Doesn't matter if legislators disagree, it's the law of the land. But courts should not be fining the Legislature for noncompliance.


ISSUE:

Based on current projections, state revenue will not be large enough to cover improvements to public schools in the two years starting in the summer of 2017. Where would you get the money needed?


Lynnette Vehrs (D)
Capital gains tax, allowing state to collect local levies to distribute to school districts for basic education, adding sunset clauses to tax exemptions for certain businesses.



Mike Volz (R)
Return control of curriculum to local school districts and end state-level, federal-level mandates.

Barry Pfundt (N)
Close tax loopholes and cut off earmark spending. "At some point we need to stop nibbling away at the budget and make hard decisions."

Ian Field (R)
Property tax reforms that could lead to adjustments. Lower taxes in Spokane, higher on west side.

Samuel Canty (R)
Find cost savings in other areas of education.

ISSUE:

Do you support the Human Rights Commission's rule that allows transgender people to use public facilities based on their gender identity?


Lynnette Vehrs (D) Yes



Mike Volz (R) No


Barry Pfundt (N) Yes


Ian Field (R) No
"Human Rights Commission stepped in as an unelected body and created more issues."

Samuel Canty (R) Uncommitted
"I'm not going to fight it." Will likely stay out of the debate.

ISSUE:

Do you believe the state minimum wage should be raised, and if so by how much?


Lynnette Vehrs (D) Yes
Should be phased in, based on regional economies.



Mike Volz (R) No


Barry Pfundt (N) Yes
The answer to how much it should be increased will follow outcome of I-1433.

Ian Field (R) No


Samuel Canty (R) No
"If you want caliber employees, you should pay caliber wages."

ISSUE:

Do you support state funding for Spokane's proposed Central City Line?


Lynnette Vehrs (D) Yes
Matching funds from state a good idea, to make sure Spokane lays out money for what it wants.

Mike Volz (R) No
"We should fix what we have. You don't build an addition on your house if the rest of it is falling apart."

Barry Pfundt (N) Yes
Yes, but Spokane needs to make the case that it will improve transportation infrastructure and other projects will also be funded.

Ian Field (R) No
No. Opposes higher gas tax to pay for Central City Line.

Samuel Canty (R) Yes
Yes, but not all of the cost, or even half.