Jobs numbers that are scary good

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Report from Olympia |  Oct. 22, 2019


Dear Friends and Neighbors,

As Halloween rapidly approaches there will be plenty of ghosts, witches and a few saints searching for candy and other treats. I hope it is a safe and enjoyable time for you and your family.

Fortunately, one of the treats our nation continues to enjoy is a thriving economy, which is producing some of the best employment numbers in history. You can learn more about some of this great economic news below. You can also read about Gov. Jay Inslee’s broken pledge to fight any new or increased tax proposals. The governor has proposed $23 billion in new taxes since his inauguration in January 2013.

I welcome your input on these or any other issue relating to state government. Please feel free to contact me via email or by phone in our district office at (509) 921-2460.

Thank you for the continued opportunity to be your voice for liberty in the state Senate.


Senator Mike Padden

Association of Washington Business Manufacturing Week Bus Tour comes to Spokane Valley


Sen. Padden, AWB President Kris Johnson, and Collin Tracy with the Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce chat with Cal Christen (right), technical training and development specialist at Wagstaff, Inc. during the AWB Manufacturing Week bus tour stop at Wagstaff, Inc. This was on Oct. 9, the sixth day of a cross-state bus tour celebrating Washington’s diverse manufacturing sector. Wagstaff employs about 400-450 people in Washington and just completed a major expansion of its Spokane Valley flagship location. The company makes aluminum casting equipment used in the aerospace, nuclear and other industries. (Photo: Brian Mittge/AWB)

On October 9 I visited Wagstaff, Inc., a longtime engineering and manufacturing firm headquartered in Spokane Valley, as part of the 2019 Manufacturing Week Bus Tour led by the Association of Washington Business. The tour is AWB’s way of highlighting the value of Washington’s manufacturers.

AWB President Kris Johnson led the week-long tour, which included stops at dozens of employers and covered more than 1,400 miles.

Johnson called the Wagstaff tour an awesome way to start the sixth day of the tour. “The only thing more impressive than their growth is their commitment and leadership to growing and developing talent,” said Johnson, who noted that just a day earlier Wagstaff had hosted 140 high school students to highlight great careers in manufacturing.

Manufacturing has a big impact on Washington’s economy. According to AWB, the sector’s total output was nearly $59 billion in 2017, or about 12 percent of the state’s total economic output. More than 287,000 people worked at 7,636 manufacturing firms in 2017. The average compensation was more than $88,000 per year, according to the National Association of Manufacturers.

Senate GOP celebrates 7th anniversary of Gov. Inslee’s anti-tax pledge

Governor has proposed $23 billion in new taxes since inaugural

tax thief

Republicans in our state Senate recently “celebrated” the 7th anniversary of Gov. Jay Inslee’s promise not to raise taxes – a campaign pledge that will live in Washington history as one of the clearest and firmest ever uttered by a political candidate.

Back on Oct 11, 2012, candidate Inslee told reporters he would veto any new tax passed by the Washington Legislature. Since Inslee made his promise, Washington’s Democratic governor has proposed $23 billion in new taxes. This year he signed legislation that will raise taxes as much as $2.4 billion. And the big question heading into the 2020 legislative session is whether the governor will push once again for our state’s first income tax, a new carbon tax or both. Inslee proposed his first tax increase just two months after taking office – a $1.2 billion tax hike in March 2013. And once the flood gates were opened, he never stopped. In fact, the governor has proposed new taxes every year, with his most recent proposals including a brand-new state income tax – something that has been rejected by Washington voters 10 straight times. His new tax on investment income would not even seek voter approval.

Click here to view a full break down of all the new taxes proposed by Gov. Jay Inslee since his no-new-tax pledge.

Video: New documentary contains lesson for Spokane on dealing with homelessness, crime and addition

KOMO Video

KOMO-TV News documentary: A Tale of 3 Cities follows up on the groundbreaking feature: Seattle is Dying. This new documentary reviews how poor policies have lead to chronic drug abuse, crime and homelessness in three West Coast cities. Click here to watch.


Did you know?

Local schools see changes in enrollment over last two decades


Did you know the majority of school districts in our state actually have fewer K-12 students than they did 20 years ago? Statewide, K-12 enrollment has grown by just 11% from 20 years ago (vs. 30% overall state population growth).

So how have our local districts changed over the last two decades?

School District




% Change

Central Valley School District #356





East Valley School District #361





Freeman School District #129





Mead School District #354





Orchard Prairie School District #123





Riverside School District #416





West Valley School District #363





Spokane School District #81







October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month


A special message from National Down Syndrome Society
Goodwill Ambassador Chris Burke:

“October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, a chance to spread awareness. During the month of October, we celebrate people with Down syndrome and make people aware of our abilities and accomplishments. It’s not about celebrating disabilities, it’s about celebrating abilities. We can learn all about our history. We have a right to speak out about what it’s like to have Down syndrome and to learn the real story of people like us.

“People with Down syndrome and their loved ones can spread awareness about Down syndrome by going to their local Buddy Walk and we can speak out about our needs. This is how we advocate. Our parents can teach us about education and how to advocate for ourselves – and give us love, support and encouragement.”

Click here to learn more.

In case you missed it:

Unemployment rate hits 50-year low


We recently received some great economic news from the White House. The unemployment rate dropped to 3.5% in September, its lowest level in 50 years! We continue to see strong job growth as the President’s pro-growth policies drive an economic resurgence. More than 6.4 million jobs have been added since November 2016.

Below you will find just a few of the highlights from several recent economic and workforce development announcements:

  • Monday, October 8, 2019, President Trump signed the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement & U.S.-Japan Digital Trade Agreement. The two agreements being signed will help create jobs, expand investment, reduce our trade deficit, and promote fairness.
  • Tuesday, October 1, 2019, Secretary Ben Carson (Housing and Urban Development) announced a new website ( that will serve as a hub of information for the array of audiences that work with the Opportunity Zones Initiative. In 2017, the President signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which established Opportunity Zones to incentivize long-term investments in low-income communities nationwide. More than 8,760 communities in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and 5 Territories have been designated as Opportunity Zones.
  • More than 350 companies and trade associations have signed the White House Pledge to America’s Workers, contributing to over 14 MILLION education and training opportunities for American students and workers over the next five years.
  • On September 10, the Census Bureau released its official measures of the economic well-being of Americans in 2018. While Americans across the board generally saw improvements, the data show that in many cases those who had been forgotten in the past were lifted up the most. Real median household income increased to more than $63,000 in 2018, the highest level in nearly two decades. A growing economy that produces more jobs and higher earnings has driven the improvement in economic well-being. There were 2.3 million more full-time, year-round workers in 2018 than in 2017, of which 1.6 million were women.

Less than 1 year left!

Washington residents will need REAL ID-compliant identification to fly starting October 2020


Starting Oct. 1, 2020, travelers 18 years and older will need a REAL ID-compliant form of identification to board a commercial flight.

Now is the time to plan ahead and be ready for REAL ID requirements. Do not wait.

Travelers can show any REAL ID-compliant identification at the TSA security checkpoint. TSA maintains a full list of acceptable forms of identification. A variety of identity documents will be accepted to board an airplane or enter secure federal facilities, including:

  • U.S. or foreign passport
  • U.S. passport card
  • Military ID
  • DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • Enhanced driver license
  • Tribal ID
  • Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Washington’s enhanced driver licenses (EDLs) and enhanced ID (EIDs) cards are REAL ID compliant, valid for air travel within the United States, and can be used to cross the borders of Canada and Mexico by land or sea. Some commonly needed documents to get an EDL/EID are a certified birth certificate, U.S. passport, or military ID. A full list of document options to obtain an enhanced driver license or ID card is available on the DOL website.

Demand for enhanced licenses and IDs will only increase as the deadline nears. By acting now to obtain the ID you need or to renew your license early, you can save yourself time and frustration later – both at DOL offices and at the airport.

Sen. Mike Padden 408 N. Mullan Rd., Ste. 106 ● Spokane Valley, WA 99206