While there were victories to celebrate in 2014 – the passage of the Dream Act, gun violence prevention and a modest amount of money put into education – Senate Democrats are concerned about the lack of progress that was made toward fully funding education in 2014 and the burden that and other shortcomings will create when the 2015 legislature convenes in January.
Most estimates are that approximately $5 billion will need to be put toward education funding by 2018 in order to fulfill the State Supreme Court’s mandate in the McCleary Decision.
There is concern that doing very little toward that end in 2014 will make the decisions in 2015 that much more difficult.
Substantial K-12 funding, transportation revenue, voting rights, environmental protections, campaign finance transparency and many other critical issues required immediate action in 2014. None was taken.
The groundwork could have been laid for what is sure to be a difficult 2015 session. It was not.
Postponing the difficult decisions for at least a year will create many more heavy lifts in 2015.