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Monthly Archives: April 2015

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    Mullet bills on retirement savings and financial literacy pass Legislature

Mullet bills on retirement savings and financial literacy pass Legislature

April 21st, 2015|

Small businesses would be able to offer no-cost savings plans to help employees at small businesses save for retirement, and high school students will be taught the basics of financial literacy, as a result of the two top-priority bills by Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, that passed the Legislature this session.

Senate Bill 5826, which passed the Senate today and will now be sent to the governor to be signed into law, will make simple, affordable retirement savings plans run entirely by the private sector available through small businesses at no cost to the employer and minimal cost to the employee.

SB 5202, which passed last week and also awaits the governor’s signature, will require that all high schools offer financial literacy for their students. The curriculum would cover basics such as how to manage a checkbook, how savings compound and provide financial security, and so forth.

“Each of these bills addresses critical needs I have heard from many of the employees at my small businesses,” Mullet said. “These programs will help workers who are early in their careers make better financial decisions, which can set them up to purchase homes and save for retirement down the road.”

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    Capital Budget funds five key parks projects in 5th District

Capital Budget funds five key parks projects in 5th District

April 8th, 2015|

Parks projects in Issaquah and Snoqualmie and at Lake Sammamish State Park, along with road access improvements at the High Point Tiger Mountain trailhead, are funded in the 2015 Capital Budget proposed today by the Senate, Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, announced.

“Our ever-growing population calls for key investments in outdoor recreational facilities, and this budget does that,” Mullet said. “These are projects that will offer enjoyable outlets to our communities for generations.”

There are two projects in Snoqualmie: development of Snoqualmie Skate Park and the expansion of Riverview Park.

In Issaquah, the budget funds improvements at the Central Park Sport Field.

At Lake Sammamish State Park, the budget funds a new playground.

On Tiger Mountain, the budget funds the paving of an access road to the High Point trailhead accessible from Exit 20 off I-90.

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    Mullet: Budget amendments sought to protect Issaquah, taxpayers

Mullet: Budget amendments sought to protect Issaquah, taxpayers

April 3rd, 2015|

Two amendments proposed today by Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, would have reversed budget provisions that reduce funds to Issaquah and other cities and saddle taxpayers across the state with increased debt to pay for the day to day operation of state government. The amendments failed on straight party line votes.

The first amendment would have restored hundreds of thousands of dollars in biennial liquor excise taxes that have traditionally been distributed to cities and towns to help defray local expenses. Instead, the Senate Republicans’ proposed budget sweeps those funds and applies them instead to help pay for public education. The result is that Issaquah, for example, will lose nearly $300,000 in biennial liquor excise taxes — the equivalent of two fully salaried and equipped police officers.

“We all know we need to fully fund education, but this is not the way to do it,” Mullet said. “Instead of solving the problem, this just moves it someplace else.”

Mullet said the seizure of the liquor tax funds education at the expense of other community needs, which will force communities to reduce services or pass the real costs on to local taxpayers.

“It’s is a textbook case of robbing Peter to pay Paul,” he said.

Mullet’s other amendment would have prevented the state from using the Public Works Assistance Account to fund the operating budget.

“This year the account is empty and it doesn’t take a math whiz to know it’s bad public policy to take money from an empty account,” said Mullet, the owner of local pizza and ice cream businesses. “Because the account is empty, this would force the state to take on long-term debt at 4-percent interest to pay day to day costs. I would never do anything like this in my home or businesses and I won’t do it with the taxpayers’ money. That’s why I couldn’t vote for this budget.”

Mullet co-sponsored bipartisan legislation earlier this session (Senate Bill 6035) that would have prohibited the state from exactly this kind of maneuver. It was sponsored by 10 Republicans and 14 Democrats. The bill did not receive a hearing in the Republican-controlled Senate.