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    The Most Difficult Challenge Of The Session – Education Funding

The Most Difficult Challenge Of The Session – Education Funding

June 22nd, 2015|

News from Sen. Karen Fraser                                         June 22, 2015


Dear Constituents—-

I’m pleased to report that significant progress is being made on THE most difficult challenge of this Session—improving funding for “Basic Education” in order to comply with:

  • The State Supreme Court decision (“McCleary”) which quite clearly defined what constitutes the legal obligations of state government and, thus, statewide taxpayers; and
  • Voter-passed initiatives, including Initiative 1351, approved last Fall, which mandates funding thousands of additional teachers and support staff in our schools.

By several years from now, some estimate the state must increase state K-12 funding by about $5 billion per biennium. This includes the state “taking over” those amounts of “Basic Education” now included in local levies (60-80% of levy amounts) in our 295 school districts.

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This HUGE increase makes this one of the most fiscally challenging Sessions in state history.

The new Court-declared prohibition against funding any portion of “Basic Education” from local levies requires the Legislature to find a way to gradually, but quickly, shift the burden off local levies and back on to the state. This is a very complicated challenge!

To some, the good news is that this could result in a reduction in local levies. But, the challenge is how to find the increased state money to fund the state taking over this levy reduction, and also to fund other major Court and voter mandated increases.

This must be achieved without decimating all […]

Legislative Update, Jan. 30, 2015 – GO HAWKS!

January 30th, 2015|

January 30, 2015

Dear Constituents,

G O   H A W K S   !!!!!

Legislative update

We are wrapping up Week Three in the Legislature and have had a busy week of bill introduction and committee hearings. On Wednesday, 17 days into the session, we finally finished our Senate committee reorganization process by approving membership on the Senate Rules Committee, of which I am a member. This means the Senate is now in a position to move bills out of the Rules Committee to the full Senate for consideration. Next week will likely be quite busy in this regard.

New video update

I recently filmed a new video update about this Session. Some topics return year after year like transportation, and the budget. Every year, there are some new topics. Here’s a link to my video page for this. (It’s about 5 minutes long.)

Fraser_Video update photo

Association of Washington Business (AWB) Panel on Tax & Fiscal Policy

This week I joined legislative budget leads Sen. Andy Hill, R- Redmond; Rep. Ross Hunter, D-Medina; Rep. Bruce Chandler, R-Granger; and moderator, Former Seattle Mayor and former AWB President Wes Uhlman to talk about major budget and revenue issues facing the Legislature this year. We each had a few minutes to give opening remarks and then responded to questions from the audience. Click on the video link below to watch it. It’s about an hour.

I can’t predict yet how these huge issues will be resolved. In the end, it will undoubtedly be a series of compromises that will make some people happy, some people unhappy, and others merely “relieved” that we’re done!

The top priority of Senate Democrats is to promote […]

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    Legislative Update – We’re off and running as the 2015 legislative session begins.

Legislative Update – We’re off and running as the 2015 legislative session begins.

January 16th, 2015|

Dear constituents—

We’re off and running as the 2015 legislative session begins.

Honoring former Governor Dan Evans

At the outset, I would like to report that on Day 3, Wednesday, January 14, the Senate honored former Washington State Governor, former President of The Evergreen State College, and former U.S. Senator Dan Evans, on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of his inauguration as Governor. I was a key organizer of this occasion.

I encourage you to read the Floor Resolution we adopted which recognizes many of his major achievements. A spontaneous standing ovation took place immediately upon the conclusion of its reading. I gave one of the two speeches in support of the resolution. I encourage you to watch the attached video of the occasion, which includes his fascinating account of events surrounding his swearing in as Governor, as well as some well-stated advice to the Legislature. The whole program is about 30 minutes.

In the afternoon, he visited The Evergreen State College, where they honored him for his strong, effective leadership there as their second President. In addition, Governor and Mrs. Inslee gave him a tour of the Governor’s Mansion, so he could see the changes that have occurred, and show it to his grandchildren.

 

20150114_104905ab     Gov. Evans

Opening Day — Routines and Surprises

 With his customary precision, at exactly noon, Monday, January 12, Senate President Brad Owen gaveled to order the 64th Legislature. (This designation applies to the two-year period incorporating the 2015 and 2016 legislative sessions.)

Normally, Opening Day is full of routine, as new and returning members are sworn in, officers of the Senate are elected, rules of […]

Sen. Karen Fraser – Legislative Update, Jan. 16, 2015

January 16th, 2015|

Jan. 16, 2015

Dear constituents —

We’re off and running as the 2015 legislative session begins.

 Honoring former Governor Dan Evans

At the outset, I would like to report that on Day 3, Wednesday, January 14, the Senate honored former Washington State Governor, former President of The Evergreen State College, and former U.S. Senator Dan Evans, on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of his inauguration as Governor. I was a key organizer of this occasion.

I encourage you to read the Floor Resolution we adopted which recognizes many of his major achievements. A spontaneous standing ovation took place immediately upon the conclusion of its reading. I gave one of the two speeches in support of the resolution. I encourage you to watch the video of the occasion, which includes his fascinating account of events surrounding his swearing in as Governor, as well as some well-stated advice to the Legislature. The full video of the day’s event is about 30 minutes long. Click on the photo to play.

In the afternoon, he visited The Evergreen State College, where they honored him for his strong, effective leadership there as their second President. In addition, Governor and Mrs. Inslee gave him a tour of the Governor’s Mansion, so he could see the changes that have occurred, and show it to his grandchildren.

Gov. Evans and Sen. Fraser Gov. Evans

Opening Day — Routines and Surprises

 With […]

Sen. Fraser E-Newsletter – Dec. 16, 2013

December 20th, 2013|

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Transportation Revenue Package What’s the argument about?

Dear Constituents and Friends,

As 2013 comes to an end, transportation issues continue to be a high priority for the well-being of our state, including our South Sound area.

We’re all too familiar with huge needs for congestion reduction, bridge and other safety improvements, more opportunities to use transit, safer biking and walking routes, and more cost-effective ways to move increasing volumes of freight.

Advancing a prosperous economy in Washington State also demands increased transportation investments. They are crucial to support a stable and growing aerospace and manufacturing industry.

During the Special Session in November, we enacted several major incentives to encourage Boeing to assemble the new 777X airplane and to manufacture major high-tech composite-materials components here in Washington.

Unfortunately, regarding transportation priorities, an agreement in the Senate was not achieved between the Democrats and the Republican-dominated majority.

traffic22 Motorists in the South Sound are all too familiar with gridlock on Interstate 5 between Olympia and Seattle.

Transportation Public Hearings

Earlier this fall, public meetings were held across the state to get feedback on Washington’s transportation priorities. During these, it became clear that people across the state want a transportation revenue package, and they want it now—not next year, or two years, or three years from now.

Governor Inslee and legislative transportation policy leaders have continue to engage in lengthy, intensive negotiations — so far without reaching an agreement.

You can watch the recent hearing on transportation here. You can also look up previous hearings at www.twv.org. You can also go to the Washington State Legislature web page. By clicking on the bill numbers, you can access the TVW footage for […]

Sen. Fraser E-Newsletter

February 1st, 2013|

Dear Constituents —

I continue to enjoy working on key issues relating to our district, including the needs of public employees and retirees, which also underlie much of the economic vitality of our area, other efforts to improve our economy, educational opportunities, the safety net for people with low incomes and special needs, local government viability, our transportation system, parks and recreation opportunities, our spectacular Puget Sound, and much more.

Honoring the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The second week of session began on a reflective note, honoring the life and work of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. The legacy of Dr. King should reinforce for each of us the fundamental imperative in our Constitution that “we the people” commit ourselves to protect and improve the lives of ALL our citizens, and to advance social and economic justice for ALL.

Follow this link and listen to my floor speech honoring the essential life and work of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.