Monthly Archives: February 2016

Chase: Education bill fails to address students’ needs

February 16th, 2016|

Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Shoreline, issued the following statement today following the passage of Senate Bill 6195 regarding the funding of basic education.

“This legislation stands out not for what it does but for what it does not.

“It does not establish a source for the revenue to provide the education our students need to succeed in school and in life. Without revenue, we cannot reduce the overcrowding in our classrooms or address our teacher shortages.

“In other words, this is a bill that proposes to address the problem without actually addressing the problem. It says we promise to do something. But for now, it’s an empty promise. And more generations of students will graduate before we begin to fulfill it.

“Adjusted for the cost of living, Washington is 45th in per pupil funding. In education spending per thousand dollars of income, Washington is 46th. In average class size, Washington is 46th in the nation. When you’re 45th and 46th out of 50 states, those are pretty poor grades. Those are flunking grades.

“Our teachers have worked miracles with declining resources, and I honor them. They deserve our respect and gratitude. But they also need our support. They ought to be able to afford to live in the communities where they work. They should have adequate books and school supplies for their classes. They need the smaller class sizes it will take to make that Education Reform Act of 1993 actually work.

“Right now, corporate loopholes funnel three to six billion dollars per year from our state and from our public schools. That money could fulfill our obligation to our students. But there is nothing in this bill about corporate loopholes. There is just a promise to do … something.

“If this bill were graded like our students’ tests, it would receive an ‘incomplete.’ So I gave it the vote it deserved. I voted against it.”

Chase to host town hall meeting on Feb. 27

February 12th, 2016|

Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Edmonds, will host a town hall meeting on Feb. 27 in Edmonds.
“We’ve hit the halfway point through this session, which makes this an ideal time to provide an update of what’s going on and fielding questions on the minds of the good people of our district,” Chase said. “I look forward to a robust discussion.”
The meeting is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Feb. 27 on the second floor of the Edmonds Senior Center Ballroom at 220 Railroad Ave.

Chase: ‘I have never seen such an abuse of power’

February 5th, 2016|

Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Edmonds, today released the following statement following the Senate’s vote not to confirm the appointment of Department of Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson.

“In all my 16 years in the Legislature, I have never seen such an abuse of power as shown today by the Senate Republicans.

“Today Senate Republicans sent a message to all Washingtonians, and to anyone who might consider working for our state, spelling out exactly how they think employees should be treated — like pawns to be sacrificed in a political game.

“Beyond the merits of the Republicans’ case, which was spun from whole cloth, this action does a disgraceful disservice to Secretary Peterson and the people of Washington.

“Secretary Peterson, a skilled and successful career servant with a history of performance that is the envy of her peers, has had her career and reputation smeared for no other reason than the Republicans can. A prized administrator has been hustled out of her office and into the street like a burglar caught ransacking purses instead of the respected leader she is. There was no hearing, no formal, public or even private case made against the secretary until the moments immediately prior to the Republicans’ vote to terminate her; she had absolutely no chance to address and rebut the Republicans’ specious claims.

“This was not ‘advise and consent.’ This was aim and fire, at an utterly unsuspecting and innocent victim. And it leaves public servants across our state wondering who might be next.

“The taxpayers, meanwhile, will pay the price for this nonsense in unnecessary and wasteful disruptions to the agency responsible to implementing the projects in the $16 billion transportation package that was approved less than a year ago. This is wasteful and irresponsible.

“The people’s government is a sacred trust that must be legislated responsibly and impartially. It is not some little toy of the Republicans’ that they are free to break in a pique of childish fit. Their actions today heap shame on them and shower embarrassment on our Legislature and our state.”

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    Chase: Homelessness crisis puts more women, children at risk

Chase: Homelessness crisis puts more women, children at risk

February 5th, 2016|

With the number of homeless Washingtonians spiking in communities across the state, Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Edmonds, has signed onto legislation that recognizes the problem for the crisis it is and provides relief.

“People often think of the homeless as ‘someone else,’ never themselves or people who might be close to them. But the homeless are neighbors, past coworkers, seniors, and, perhaps most distressingly of all, children,” Chase said today following a rollout of Senate Bill 6647, the Bring Washington Home Act. “And what happens very often is that homeless women and children are preyed upon and forced into human trafficking. They are vulnerable and at risk and they need our help, and they need it now, before more are victimized.”

Numbers from last week’s One Night Count are starting to filter in. Homelessness is up 19 percent in King County and it’s up a devastating 54 percent in Snohomish County. OSPI just reported that more than 35,000 Washington students don’t have a safe and consistent place to sleep at night. Statistics for the 2014/15 school year released by the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction revealed 34,511 homeless students statewide, with 349 homeless students in Shoreline and 600 homeless students in the Edmonds School District.

To target investments in programs aimed at breaking the cycle of homelessness and help the less fortunate get off the streets, the Bring Washington Home Act would tap into the state’s Rainy Day Fund, which is money set aside for emergencies. One percent of existing tax dollars are put into the Rainy Day Fund annually and the fund is projected to be reach more than $700 million by June of 2017 and over a billion dollars by 2019.

“There are fine groups that are doing what they can, like the Ronald Methodist Church in Shoreline that is helping to build housing, but it’s not enough,” Chase said. “This level of crisis calls for state action, and that’s why we have a Rainy Day Fund — for emergencies like this.”

The Bring Washington Home Act will make the following investments:

  • $18.455 million toward services such as rapid rehousing for people who are mentally ill, chemically dependent and/or chronically homeless.
  • $4.625 million for homeless youth, including HOPE beds, the Street Youth program, and funding for the homeless student stability and opportunity gap act (SB 6298).
  • $3 million for consolidated homeless grants.
  • $60 million toward shelter and support services for the homeless and families at risk of becoming homeless.

$95 million toward the Housing Trust Fund for building supportive or other housing, and $5 million for maintenance and operations for housing stock. This $95 million will drive $190 million in housing investments, when those funds are combined with other resources (donations, grant money, tax credits, local funding) used in conjunction with the Housing Trust Fund.