Many Senate Democrats expressed concern over the charter school bill that passed on Wednesday. (TRT: 63) CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

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On Wednesday, the Washington State Senate took its first votes of the 2016 Legislative Session. Much of the day’s debate centered on a bill that would address our state’s charter schools. Sen. Andy Billig of Spokane:

Sen. Andy Billig, D-Spokane: (TRT: 12) CLICK TO DOWNLOAD: “Our goal with this policy that we’re considering today is to provide educational certainty to the children and their families that are in these charter schools. The underlying bill does not achieve that goal.”

Many Senate Democrats spoke of their concern that Senate Bill 6194 does not go far enough to provide a solution to existing charter school law and will not be able to withstand a constitutional challenge. The bill passed largely along party lines, 27 to 20 with 2 excused.

Sen. Dean Takko of Longview expressed frustration that the charter school debate has come before a plan to fully fund K-12 education for the one million public school students in our state.

Sen. Dean Takko, D-Longview: (TRT: :07) CLICK TO DOWNLOAD: “I want to see us put the money and the time and the energy and the passion that we see on this floor into doing the right thing for all the schools in this state.”

At the state capital in Olympia, Nicole Vukonich.