Kevin Parker sworn in as new 6th District representative
'My priorities for the year include a no-new-taxes budget, fully funding education and fighting for transportation dollars in my region,' Parker says
Kevin Parker, R-Spokane, officially became a state representative to the 6th District today. With his wife and daughters looking on, Parker promised to uphold the Constitution and to “faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of the office.”
“I'm looking forward to getting started on the job the people hired me to do,” Parker said. “It will be a defining year full of challenges with critical decisions to be made. I won't shy away from standing up for what's right and doing what is best for our community and state.”
Parker will serve as assistant minority whip for the House Republicans. His committee assignments include two as assistant ranking Republican: Finance and Financial Institutions and Insurance. He will also serve on the Community and Economic Development and Trade Committee.
Parker said his primary focus as a new legislator will be connecting with his constituents and working on ideas with them. He noted that the best ideas often come from every day conversations and from the kitchen table.
“It's critically important that the people in my district know I'm not only available to talk with them, but that I sincerely want to hear from them,” Parker said. “Being a 'representative' of the people means it's my primary duty to understand their priorities and interests, and bring those priorities and interests to Olympia.”
Parker said he knows one of the main interests for the Spokane area he will represent is creating jobs and keeping businesses in Washington.
“All too often we see businesses leaving Spokane for Idaho where laws are more business-friendly. When businesses leave, so do job opportunities,” Parker said. “There are things we can do in Olympia that create more opportunities in Spokane and I'll be looking for these kinds of solutions. I want to be a voice of opportunity for families and businesses.”
He noted the $6 billion budget shortfall is a concern to his constituents.
“People are watching what will happen with their roads, in their children's classrooms and on the business registers,” Parker said. “We can answer the problems of today without raising taxes and making the situation worse. It won't be easy, but together we can get through these economic hard times.”
Even before being sworn in, Parker signed on to a couple proposals in the House. In December, Parker sponsored House Bill 1001, regarding the transfer of veterans' remains, which is expected to be heard Tuesday, Jan. 13. Last week, Parker announced he was co-sponsoring a consumer protection bill requested by the Attorney General's office which changes the rules for companies offering free promotions and prizes online. That bill is scheduled to receive a hearing on Wednesday, Jan. 14.
“Both of these pieces of legislation deal with respect,” Parker said. “The first deals with respecting the service of our veterans and enabling them to receive proper resting places. The second deals with respecting the consumer's right to know and protecting their personal information. Most importantly, neither of the bills requires money to be carried out if they become law.”
Parker lives in Spokane with his wife of 12 years, Kerry, and their two young daughters Emelia and Eve. He is the president of GTG Ventures, a company that owns several coffee shops in Spokane. He received his bachelor's degree in political science from Whitworth University in Spokane and then went on to earn his master's degree in business administration from George Fox University in Oregon. He also earned a certificate of leadership at Harvard University.
###Washington State House Republican Communications