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Monthly Archives: June 2017

30 06, 2017

Landmark education bill adds $7.3 billion to Washington schools

June 30th, 2017|Uncategorized|

OLYMPIA – In the final hours before a state government shutdown, the Legislature passed a landmark bill that adds billions of dollars to public schools in Washington state over the next four years. Passage of this bill addresses the chronic underfunding of schools called out in the state Supreme Court’s McCleary case.

“This budget makes the biggest investment in education in a generation and reflects the core values that Democrats have advocated for throughout this process,” said Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, one of the education negotiators who also serves as a negotiator on the state operating budget. “It ensures more equity between low- and high-income districts and students and provides additional funds for students with individual needs. Of course no budget is perfect, and the reliance primarily on property taxes for funding was not what Democrats wanted but unfortunately was all the Republicans would consider. In the end, kids and educators will see $7.3 billion more dollars going into their schools over the next four years, and that is an enormous win for the students of our state.”

House Bill 2242 takes numerous steps toward closing the opportunity gap including increasing salaries and salary equity for educators, providing additional funding for special education and for low-income districts. The bill also increases funds for career and technical education and ensures locals may retain control of their levies while also adding common sense transparency and accountability measures to how levies are spent.

“This has been a long process but in the end we were able to come together in a bipartisan way and produce a K-12 funding solution that will meet our Constitutional obligation and help the 1.1 million schoolchildren in our state to achieve their fullest potential,” said Sen. Andy Billig, D-Spokane. “Education in general, and this plan in particular, goes well beyond just helping individual children. When we get education policy and funding right, we boost our economy, build community, and strengthen our democracy by producing well rounded, intelligent citizens.”

The bill passed with bipartisan support out of both chambers of the Legislature (67-26 out of the House of Representatives, and 32-17 out of the Senate). The bill now goes to the Governor’s desk for his signature.

To view a summary of impacts of the bill, please click here.
To review estimated school district tax impacts of the bill, please click here.

19 06, 2017

State Senate Members of Color Caucus statement on Juneteenth

June 19th, 2017|Uncategorized|

OLYMPIA — Senate Members of Color Caucus released the following statement as the Legislature celebrates Juneteenth, a holiday marking the day the slaves of Galveston, Texas finally received word of their freedom nearly two years after President Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and the end of the Civil War.

“Today’s historic anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate the diversity that enriches Washington state and the nation as a whole.

“Juneteenth is traditionally a celebration, but we should also use the occasion to focus on today’s challenges that communities of color continue to face in the pursuit of equality and justice.

“As our nation struggles to find political common ground, Juneteenth is a chance to reaffirm our shared dedication to ending discrimination and senseless violence that is still perpetuated against African Americans and people in our communities of color.”

Sen. Bob Hasegawa (D-Seattle)
Sen. Steve Hobbs (D-Lake Stevens)
Sen. John McCoy (D-Tulalip)
Sen. Rebecca Saldaña (D-Seattle)