Mark Gee | RI Senate District 35
Contribute to Mark Gee | RI Senate District 35
Contribute to Mark Gee | RI Senate District 35

Issues we face...

I have experience — personal, professional and political — that makes me an asset for District 35 with its diversity of issues. I’ve lived in Rhode Island since 1965 when I graduated from the U.S. Naval Officer Candidate School in Newport and was assigned to a Newport-based destroyer. I have both a military and business background. I’ve worked for a huge corporate organization, IBM Corporation, as a marketing rep in the Data Processing Division and later in the General Systems Division. And, I have worked for myself. I have years of public service in volunteer organizations. I’ve been an elected official for the past 8 years, first as an East Greenwich Fire Commissioner and Town Councilor, and now as a State Senator serving as the Deputy Minority Leader, and on the Committees on Government Oversight, Judiciary and Labor. In East Greenwich we consolidated our fire district into the town — saving town taxpayers money through efficiencies and elimination of duplicate services. We’ve shown it can be done locally, and now we need to tackle this approach on a statewide level across all departments.

Having served in the Senate these past two years, I’ve seen first hand that things are out of control. The power remains in the hands of a few. As a Republican, it is an uphill battle to responsibly represent the citizens of District 35. I am not afraid of special interests, or to take unpopular positions, or cast unpopular votes, if it means it will help put our state back on the right track. Rhode Island has a long history of excellence in many arenas. We need to return the Ocean State to the great state it once was — respected and emulated. I want to be that honest, credible voice. I believe I have the requisite experience and motivation to contribute to bringing common sense, leadership, and discipline back to government.

I voted for ethics reform.

I voted for reducing the annual corporate tax, but I think it should go back down to $250, not the $400 it now stands at.

I voted against the RhodeWorks bill (Can you say Tolls?) because it is a more expensive solution than the alternative BridgeWorks Plan presented by the Republican Policy Group I was a member of. This plan proposed using money from the budget, not incurring more bond indebtedness. Both Gina and Nick dismissed this.

I voted against the "Taylor Swift Tax" because I believe the 2.5% tax assessed on properties valued at over $1 million defeats our tourism initiative. Stop taxing our citizens and hurting our healthy tourism industry and its untapped potential!

I would have voted against the legalization of marijuana if the bill had come out of committee. I am not in favor of this because the resources required — the operational infratructure — is currently not in place. The state is in no position to implement such a wide sweeping change in the day-to-day lives of its citizens. I also firmly believe that medical marijuana is not a solution to the problem.

I missed one vote in the 2016 session. I am just getting started.

I am a parent and grandparent, so I know the struggles families are facing with the rising costs of food, housing, education, medicine, long-term care. No one can afford more taxes, especially a family trying to stay in Rhode Island. We need industries which provide jobs. We’ve essentially taxed and discouraged the few companies left. We need to figure out why we’re by-passed by good companies. Why do the Tacos thrive? For one thing, we’ve got to reduce the cost of doing business here. Our OPEB liabilities along with our penchant to wantonly increase our debt will not appeal to well-run companies. Giving away taxpayer money is not going to encourage frugal businesses to come and stay. Rhode Island’s strong labor organizations, with control over most of the politics and economics, must be saddled. We need a strong political will and an electorate which can be educated.

We have three major problems — a corrupt political system, an unfriendly business climate, and fiscal irresponsibility. Our state spends with reckless abandon. Our inability to kickstart the economy and grow programs that appeal to for-profit businesses has crippled economic growth. Investing in non-profits does not provide the economic engine we need. The current administration is spending on education and technology that does not address the real problem of over-regulation. We need to get government out of the way of private industry. Money that could be used to reduce taxes in being thrown at ineffective initiatives.

I’ve demonstrated a record of accomplishments, leadership and contributions to our community. Independent-minded, I am not afraid to make tough decisions for the collective good of us taxpayers. The future of Rhode Island depends on honest, credible citizens willing to be the voice of the people. Let me be that voice.