Roger Goodman seeking a 5th term in state house

May 16, 2014

By Ari Cetron

New: May 16, 10:48 a.m.

After four terms in the state Legislature, the newness has worn off for Rep. Roger Goodman (D-45). He’s running for a fifth term, he said, because he enjoys how his actions help others.
“I’m very gratified at the measurable results,” Goodman said. “I know I’ve made a difference.”
Goodman is chairman of the House of Representatives’ Public Safety Committee, which has oversight over law enforcement, adult correctional facilities, drunk driving, sex offenses and more.
He also serves on two other committees: Early Learning and Human Services, and Judiciary.
He represents the 45th District, which covers the northern half of Samm-amish, along with Redmond and Kirkland.
Goodman has carved out a role as a lawmaker who works to crack down on impaired driving and to help victims of domestic violence.
Some drunk-driving legislation he’s championed has shown results, with a study showing hundreds of lives have been saved on the roadways, he said.
In the last session, he was proud of a law that states people who are the subject of a protection order (the harasser, not the victim) must surrender their guns – a move that matches up state law with existing federal laws.
“That will, literally, save lives,” Goodman said.
Over the summer, he plans to continue working on criminal justice issues and working on task forces, one dealing with juvenile incarceration and the other with adult incarceration.
If voters vote to send him back to Olympia, he said he’d like to do more of that.
“I’m going to keep up my agenda – legislating aggressively to protect children and families,” he said.
Beyond that, he hopes to continue working on transportation issues and get more involved in education.
On the transportation front, he said he’s twice voted for a transportation package, but both times, that measure has stalled in the Senate.
The measure would have raised about $8 billion, generating money to fund the state Route 520 bridge project along with several other large projects around the state. It also would have raised gas taxes and car tab fees.
But those transportation dollars must also compete with a drive to increase education funding to comply with a state Supreme Court order. Goodman noted he’d introduced a bill to help meet the court mandate and reduce class sizes – at a cost of $3.4 billion – but it failed.
To meet all of those goals, he said, he’d really like to see someone take on the state’s overall tax structure. He sounded the familiar cry of lowering rates while broadening the base of things that are taxed.
“No one has asserted the leadership,” he said.
He threw out the idea of a carbon tax, which could generate money that would allow many other taxes to be reduced, although it would then end up increasing the cost of many goods and services.
While he said he’d like to look at tax preferences and credits (something commonly called loopholes) he said there aren’t that many of them and the revenue wouldn’t be as substantial as some think.
He noted the tone in Olympia has changed over the past few years, with partisanship on the rise. He said he’s found bills of his stymied simply because he’s a Democrat, and while he finds it frustrating, he still wants to continue his work.
“I believe I’m making a difference,” he said.

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