State Rep. Mark Sterk announced this week that he would like another term in the state Legislature.
The 44-year-old Spokane Valley Republican renewed his call for harsher penalties for convicted criminals and for cutting taxes and regulations during a kick-off breakfast at the Valley Red Lion.
“There’s plenty of money,” Sterk said. “I think that we need to re-prioritize how we spend our money.”
High on Sterk’s list of priorities will be giving educators the power to make their students safe, he said.
To that end, Sterk, a Spokane police sergeant, plans to reintroduce a bill that prohibits gang members from transferring from one school district to another without district approval.
“I think our principals and our superintendents should have the ability to look back at those kids’ records and determine if they are safe,” Sterk said. “If not, they should not be forced to allow those kids to transfer into their schools.”
Sterk was appointed in 1995 to replace Mike Padden as a 4th District representative after Padden resigned to become a Spokane County District Court judge.
Sterk then won 74 percent voter approval last November, beating Democrat Mary “Chey” Austin. District 4 includes most of the Valley and part of Hillyard.
Sterk was instrumental in gaining passage earlier this year of a bill requiring sex offenders to remain in jail while they await sentencing. He also introduced a bill that would prohibit registered sex offenders from living within a mile of a school. That bill died in the Senate.
Sterk said he is considering legislation for next year that would make violent, repeat juvenile criminals as young as 15 eligible for the death penalty.