Candidate Name: Timi Parker
What is the #1 priority in your legislative agenda? Please attach or provide links or references to bill drafts or legislative concepts (can be from previous sessions).: My priority is to reinvigorate business in the district and create new jobs. I have proposed that we streamline the permitting process for small business and make fees more realistic. We need to help small businesses by freeing up capital for investment and operating costs. We also have opportunities to become a leader in green, sustainable business development and I will pursue those.
Oregon in the 2011-13 biennium is expected to have a $2.5 billion shortfall from meeting the current level of services. This deficit is expected to continue through 2019. What programs would you cut? How would you raise revenue?: Our most important priority is to support a well-educated work force for Oregon by investing in schools. We must protect funding for schools from kindergarten through community college and university and not let short-term solutions undercut long-term goals. We must create a stable and adequate revenue system for schools and human services, especially for children and seniors. We can make progress on this by ending special tax credits that are used mostly by special interests to reduce their taxes and retaining the tax credits that help build our economy. Maintaining funding for cost-effective programs like Oregon Project Independence should be a priority. We should evaluate programs to determine the most essential services and cut or reform those that are redundant, inefficient or not essential.
What is your best idea to promote economic development in Oregon?: We should encourage the creation and growth of small business by eliminating red tape, giving targeted tax credits, loans and grants for green and sustainable businesses, improving the transportation infrastructure, and making sure that we are supporting our schools so we have the skilled workforce needed.
As no court has ruled invalid any of the limits on political campaign contributions or expenditures enacted by the voters in Measure 47 (2006), should the Attorney General and Secretary of State be enforcing those limits?: I understand that the constitutionality of Measure 47 has been challenged and we should wait until the courts have sorted this out before implementing it.
Do you favor amending the Oregon Constitution, if ultimately necessary, to allow reasonable limits on campaign contributions in state and local candidate races?: I support reasonable limits on campaign contributions and need to learn more about how this can be accomplished.
Do you support the current system of allowing a candidate who is nominated for the same office by more than one political party to choose up to 3 party labels to appear next to her name on the general election ballot (sometimes called "fusion-lite")?: Yes, I support this and realize that it is new to Oregon, so we should have strong oversight by the Secretary of State to ensure that state election law is followed.
Do you support regulation to control health care costs and give the Insurance Division greater power to limit unreasonable rate increases and allow citizen participation in cases involving insurance rate hikes? : Yes, I support the work that has been done in the Legislature to reign in insurance costs and there is more work to be done to ensure that more Oregonians have access to affordable, high-quality health care. This will help reduce costs and keep our state strong. HB 2009, passed in 2009, gave the insurance division greater power to regulate rate increases and created more transparency by giving the public a larger role in the process and I will continue to work to improve access by controlling costs.
Should non-affiliated voters be allowed to vote in the primaries of the major parties?: Yes, while being sure that the process gives all voters equal opportunity to be heard.
Should Oregon adopt a nonpartisan commission of retired judges to reapportion its congressional and legislative districts, based on the 2010 Census?: We should reform the redistricting process so it works for all Oregonians. I would like to have a conversation with the voters in my district to examine the best way to accomplish this while making sure that we have checks and balances and accountability in place.
What is your best idea for making government in Oregon responsive to the public interest and less consumed with satisfying the desires of the special interests?: I believe it is the duty of legislators to be accessible to constituents and to make it a priority to keep them informed about what is happening in the Legislature and how their tax dollars are being spent.