Mario Lionel Lotmore - Washington State Senate Candidate


OPIOID

​EPIDEMIC
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Current approaches have been symptom-based; not root cause solutions.  Just four months ago, the daughter of a close family friend died from fentanyl laced heroine as part of a weekend competition to prove which dealer had, “the good stuff” - enough is enough!  Frankly, the debate between: Is this a public health issue or a criminal issue has led to inaction and exacerbated the issue into an opioid epidemic. 
To prevent new entrants, I would challenge my fellow elected leaders to Adopt-A-School by partnering with student councils (ASBs) and school PTAs to bypass the red tape and foster community involvement and social interaction (bottom-up not top-down solutions). Too many youths are disengaged and not learning effective communication skills.  Many of you share my concern that electronic dependency will contribute to tomorrow’s opioid crisis – this is a bubble we must address!

Furthermore, we must address prevention with a focus on reducing accessibility by requiring providers to consult the Prescription Monitoring Program (currently only 30% consult) before prescribing opioids – aka doctor shopping – at the doctor's office not the pharmacist level.   We must also promote safe medicine disposal options to prevent kids from getting ahold of their relative’s medication.  As a temporary preventative measure, needle disposal boxes must be placed at high risk locations - needles in playgrounds are unacceptable.  NO SAFE INJECTION SITES!

I will advocate legislation to investigate pharmaceutical manufacturers to provide documents about their internal practices, including when they learned prescription opioids could be addictive and how they have marketed the drugs.
I will advocate the enforcement of the "controlled substance homicide statue" to hold drug dealers accountable for overdose deaths. Increased penalties for reoccurring offenders selling or trafficking drugs should be enacted.  Funds for treatment must be performance based.
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Bottomline, this is a societal issue and we as a community, must enact the difficult approach of tough love to save future lives and families from this crisis.


FISCAL

ACCOUNTABILITY

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Over the past several years we have felt the burden of increases to local sales tax (now the highest in the nation at 10.4% in both Lynnwood and Mukilteo), property tax, car tabs, and the list goes on.  There is now talk of a capital gains tax, a pay-by-mile fee (tracking your vehicle’s usage and driving history), tolling I-5, and a carbon tax.  
Many of you ask yourselves, “aren’t I taxed enough already?”  Furthermore, how can we trust the same elected officials to control state spending that didn’t pass car tab relief nor long-term property tax relief this year? It shouldn’t be a cost burden to simply live in a community – period.

For the record,  Mario Lotmore DOES NOT support a Capital Gains Tax, a state Income Tax, nor the Oregon Income Tax model (Oregon model simply doesn't generate enough Revenue).  The incumbant does support a capital gains tax and a state income tax.  Furthermore, the incumbant in 2012 sponsored a 2% income tax bill on top earners in the state, in 2017 was the achitect for the Transportation Benefit District which increased sales taxes in Mukilteo to the highest in the country at 10.4%, and the list goes on.

In a September 2018 letter to Representative Newhouse, capital gains is considered an income tax by the IRS.   Washington state has ruled that a graduated income tax is unconstitutional.  According to Article VII, Section of Washington’s Constitution “all taxes shall be uniform upon the same class of property within the territorial limits of the authority levying the tax and shall be levied and collected for public purposes only.” 

All this talk of capital gains is just another attempt to bamboozle Washingtonians by the POLITICAL CLASS because they simply to do not know how or want accountable spending
​​Mario Lotmore DOES support B&O tax reform, especially for small businesses.  This model has not been offically reviewed in 25 years.  We have to ensure that the various business sectors are paying their fair share.

For 18 years Mario has been implementing lean and accountable processes and policies eliminating redundancy within his profession without eliminating jobs.  He will apply this experience and talent at the state level to get more with your money.

For example, consolidating state agencies and returning authority back to elected officials (e.g. WADOT, Sound Transit, etc.) will reduce administrative overhead, combating fraud and abuse in the WA DSHS will improve the quality of service without increased costs, many of the 1477 school regulations (per school) do not contibute to the education nor safety of our children, and the list goes on.  We have the money, it is simply wasted in the bureaucracy.

To relieve the affordability squeeze on the middle class, the state must: work with cities to streamline construction of multifamily units; provide permanent property tax relief for seniors through qualifying exemption programs; offer incentives for cities to utilize unused land for homes; and temporarily suspend the mandatory in-fill rates of the Growth Management Act.


TRANSPORTATION
 

Our region faces many transportation chokepoints and much needed improvements.  The Transportation Committee has failed us.  As a 10-year project manager I will be at the table fighting on YOUR behalf.  No other elected offical on that committee has project management expertise.  Over-runs and bogus estimates from Sound Transit and the Department of Transportation takes away from education and health care revenue. ENOUGH is ENOUGH.
A 2018 PEMCO Insurance survey Conducted by FBK Research of Seattle stated 94% of Northwest drivers say they will never give up their cars therefore our approach needs to change.  It is time you have a Transportation Committee that listens to YOU!

To pay for chronic cost overruns, my opponent proposes the same ole throw money at the situation - aka tax increases.

Bonds aren’t the answer: Currently, 50% of gas tax revenue is apportioned to pay bond debt.   This will increase to just over 70% in nine years. 

Tolls aren’t the answer: Direct attack on the middle-class workers and commerce

Road Usage (“Pay-by-Mile Tax”) isn’t the answer:
  • Direct attack on the middle-class workers
  • Encourages the retention of less fuel-efficient vehicles b/c of gas tax credits which penalizes more fuel-efficient vehicles
  • Potential GPS to track in-state usage and does not handle cross-state / out-of-state drivers
  • Administrative costs are projected to be 10% vs 0.5% for pay-at-pump gas tax

The war against commuters for simply trying to get to and from work must stop!  It is time for a Transportation Committee to focus on congestion relief by implementing the following:

Fund more Hard Shoulders on Highways to be used during peak-use to relieve congestion as  was done on the Northbound 405 which actual throughput (cars per unit of time) decreased. 
  • Earmark existing Sales Tax of Motor Vehicles for Transportation
  • This will provide an additional $1.2B per year ($2.4B bi-annum) revenue
  • The state is projecting a $2.4 billion surplus this year.

Gain control of Sound Transit.  ST1, ST2 and now ST3 are the largest tax increase in state history and it keeps getting bigger because of cost over-runs (currently $4 Billion) and Sound Transit Apologists.  ENOUGH is ENOUGH! 
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  • We must REVISE the Sound Transit Charter to be represented by elected officials of each impacted district.  This would not only replace the entire Board but provide equitable, fair and accountable representation.
  • Also, Sound Transit must revise its car tab evaluations.  Current inflated schedules simply aren’t fair.
Link to Article


EDUCATION
 

My mother was a special education educator for decades and assisting her instilled in me the moral foundation of service for others. 

Too many kids with special needs do not receive the care they need; we must close that funding gap (roughly $26M) left by the McCleary decision.
Currently each school must be compliant to 1477 regulation each year - let that sink in! Administrators, teachers and principals have told me that many of these regulations do not contribute to the education nor safety of the child.  Streamlining this bureaucracy will provide much needed cost avoidance (2-for-1 payback for revenue needed).  Hence we can close this funding gap!

Also, we must address capital improvements to schools – no one is talking about this!
 
We need to focus on making our kids not only college ready but career ready by:

1. Promoting vocational opportunities starting with removing the barriers to provide adult education / continuing education at our Skill Centers like Sno-Isle in partnership with Edmonds and Everett Community Colleges.

2.  Include aptitude testing with career tests – utilizing programs like YouScience to  encourage under represented groups in vocational and STEM fields.

3. Consolidate testing or establish sample size standardize testing. It is time we allow teachers more time to teach students instead of teaching for standardize tests.  This would also save a lot of money by avoiding costly storage expenses, preparation expenses, reporting expenses, etc.  

Bottomline, I will negotiate for our district to get the most funding for our schools.

I am sure we can agree that preventing homelessness is far more cost effective than managing it.  Having known several people who overcame homelessness, they all had one thing in common – self-determination!  These are some of the strongest people I know, and a couple are close friends.  The top drivers of homelessness are: lack of affordable housing, unemployment, domestic violence, poverty, mental illness, and substance abuse.  



HOMELESSNESS

 

The term "homelessness" is being misued for political gain which is not fair to those living it.  Let's begin by classifying those in homelessness as each has a unique solution.
 
  • Foster Children - 18 year olds that are in high school but are no longer covered by DSHS.  Mario will advocate we extend their funding until the sooner of one month after completing high school or their ninetenth birthday.
  • Hard Times - Adults not suffering from mental illness nor substance abuse but find themselves homeless because he / she lost their job, recent divorce, victim of domestic violence, etc.  Mario will advocate mandatory drug screening, graduated rental vouchers starting at 100% to eventually 0% after one year.
  • Substance Abuse - Adults suffering from substance abuse.  Mario will continue support of the Office of Neighborhoods to assist these individuals getting back on their feet.  Mario will also work to align these individuals with vocational training to become independent productive members of society. 
  • Mentally Ill - Adults suffering from mental illness.  In addition to the aforementioned regarding substance abuse, Mario will advocate for neighborhood mental health safe living homes for those that require constant care.
  • Chronic Homeless - Adults that simply don't want help and / or want to live on the street.  Will advocate for the enforcement of vagrancy laws.

Furthermore, low income housing is intended to provide safe and affordable homes to give low income residents a hand up to prevent the possibility of becoming homeless. However, many tenants are "grandfathered" into these dwellings who make over the maximum allowable income to qualify for low income units; reducing the availability of housing intended for those that truly need it. This is not fair and we must revisit this privilege. One option can be a new maximum re-qualifying income providing low-income tenets the opportunity to save for a new home over time then releasing them from the program. 

Our district has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the county at just around 3.8%.  We must keep this trend by promoting vocational trades for a future Manufacturing and Technology Corridor in the county.  This corridor will offer opportunities for new industry which will provide jobs and lots of revenue for our state to pay for its much-needed infrastructure improvements.

I was born and grew up in The Bahamas where possessing a firearm is not a right.  The penalty for illegally possessing any firearm is a minimum of ten years in a Bahamian prison – which the Human Rights Council ranks as one of the worse prison conditions in the hemisphere.  Yet, The Bahamas has one of the highest homicide rates in the world (ranked 11th by WHO) with 216 gun deaths and 246 stabbings in 2016.  The Bahamas only has a population of 390,000 people.

GUN CONTROL 
AND
GUN RIGHTS 

As a gun owner and responsible member of our community, I will defend the constitutional right afforded to us by the 2nd Amendment.  I agree that current gun laws should be universal in the state to remove confusion, but we must not continue policies that impact law abiding citizens. 

We all can agree that as a society none of us want guns in the hands of criminals nor the mentally ill.  I am open to hearing more from members of the community about creative solutions – especially those related to the recent mass shooting trends in our country. 

Could the disintegration of the family structure, the lack of positive role models in our society, the impacts of social media, etc. be root causes? Could psychiatric medication and anti-depressants given to our kids be contributing to gun violence in schools? 

To curb gun violence Mario proposes the following with the last being an optional element:
 
1. Minimum sentencing for felony gun crimes - if one uses a gun in the commission of a crime 10-yrs, fires a gun 20-yrs, and if someone is shot 25-yrs to life in prison.  This has double digit proven successes (e.g. 26.4% reduction within 2-yrs of being implemented in Florida).
 
2. Increased penalties for gun related criminal negligence. Empower victims of gun related crimes.
 
3. Adopt-a-School Program - elected officials to partner with local PTAs and Student Councils to remove the red tape. Not only top-down but bottom-up solutions. This will create tailored bottom-up solutions not only combating gun violence but also gangs, drug use, and suicide.
 
4. Enforce the law against those who attempt to purchase a firearm knowing they are ineligible - e.g. felons. We currently do not follow-up on these malicious attempts to game the system.
 
5. THIS IS OPTIONAL To keep gun laws universal, handguns purchases are currently restricted to those 21 years of age (with some exceptions). This could be extended to long barrel firearms with exemptions to active military, former military with an honorable discharge, active law enforcement and single shot rifles (not shot guns). This isn't a must but is worth discussing for a bipartisan solution.



OUR

ENVIRONMENT

Mario strongly believes PROTECTING OUR MARINE LIFE in Puget Sound from overfishing and pollution is a top priority for the Legislature.

1. Sewage, drugs, and plastic toxicity all test positive in the marine life.
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2. Overfishing
Paid for by Friends of Mario Lotmore
12918 Mukilteo SPDWY C23 PMB-162, Lynnwood, WA 98087