Sunday, January 08, 2017

Message to Washington State Legislature: Let's Get on the Good Foot and Avoid Levy Cliff

Naturally, that isn't going to happen soon (and maybe not by the end of the session.)

There are some early bills to be aware of.

HB 1021, Funding Education First - a clever ploy of a bill that looks like it supports the constitutional mandate to fund ed first except that it means they will fund education with money from other state services.  

From Washington's Paramount Duty:
WPD opposes an education first approach. This would mean drastic cuts to early learning, higher ed, public health, mental health, homeless services, and other essential government services and programs.

No one who supports public education should support hacking into health, safety or social services.  There are kids in families that need those supports.

There are two bills to support to help avoid the levy cliff, one in the House and one in the Senate:

Link to support HB 1059:

HB 1059 would delay the levy cliff for one year. This bill "recognizes that the system of state and local funding for school districts is in transition during 2017, with the state moving toward full funding of its statutory program of basic education, and with current statutory policies on school district levies scheduled to expire at the end of calendar year 2017. To promote school districts' ability to plan for the future during this transitional period, the legislature intends to extend current statutory policies on local enrichment through calendar year 2019."

Link to support SB 5023:

You'd think this would be job #1 and easy peasy because well, what good is it to allow some districts to have these dramatic cust happen to them?  Current intel is that avoidance of the levy cliff will NOT happen any time soon and the GOP members are determined to wrangle as much leverage as they can in order for it to happen.

There is a hearing on the House bill this Wednesday in Olympia. 


alex said...

I find the Republican attitude of wrangling maximum leverage to be infuriating. What we are doing is not horse trading. We are talking about educating kids. We cannot do this without new revenue. WA has not only an education funding crisis, but also a mental health crisis, and a homelessness crisis. Politics is, or used to be, the art of the compromise. Can't we all agree that it's in the best interest of our state, and our economy, to fix these three problems, without pitting one group of needy people against another? We need new revenue, period.

A lot of Democrats, who are clearly among the state's highest earners, would be willing to pay a capital gains tax to generate this new revenue. It's not like the majority of the people that would pay a capital gains tax would be republicans. That's a fallacy.

Anonymous said...
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Watching said...

Never underestimate the power of a single voice. I hope individuals are able to testify in favor of the levy cliff bills, and certainly comment on levy cliff bills.

Senator Joe Fain (R) is a member of the Majority Coalition Caucus. Here is what he has to say: "You haven't seen nuthin' yet. Get ready for a full on Waffles offensive on the legislature this session"

I will say that Republicans have the capacity to fight. Dems, on the other hand...

Where is SEA? Teachers will be getting handed pink slips and they should be fighting the levy cliff tooth and nail.

Lucia said...

SEA does not speak in Olympia. WEA does.

Anonymous said...

SEA can speak in Olympia and SEA has it's own PAC money and SEA members will be taking a huge Reduction in Force i.e. layoffs and firings if we don't act soon. Why doesn't SEA or WEA file for an emergency injunction as to the Levy Cliff? I think they could get one and I brought it up to leadership at the Representative Assembly tonight.

If we're going to fight for our students then we need to fight rather than wait.

Mr. Theo Moriarty

Anonymous said...

But Alex, the Repubs despise the 206ers. They think we have dug our own grave. No sympathy. Meanwhile, their little ghost towns get plenty of money to teach their kiddos how to get into Wazzu.

McCleary orBust

Watching said...

Our state representatives need our support. There is nothing stopping SEA from organizing a letter writing campaign. There is nothing stopping SEA from organizing a rally.

Watching said...

I certainly hope SEA leadership testifies in Olympia on September 11th.

Anonymous said...

There is an SEA (and other locals) rally at the Capitol on the MLK jr. holiday at 10:30 am. Bring a red scarf if you have one and all your friends! I still prefer an injunction with my rallying.

Mr. Theo Moriarty

Kate said...

Yes, everyone should join the rally in Olympia on Monday (MLK Day observed, Jan. 16).

But I agree that someone - school districts, particularly urban ones, the WEA - needs to file an injunction. Why isn't this happening?? In response to a letter to the board in late December Leslie Harris wrote back saying what good would a lawsuit do because we already have a lawsuit that's being ignored. I was, frankly, appalled at this response. NO ONE CAN AFFORD TO JUST THROW UP THEIR HANDS RIGHT NOW. Between what is going on in Olympia and what is going on in DC, public education is in deep trouble. Everyone has a responsibility to resist, to fight. There are no excuses not to.

Republicans are completely willing to move on their nihilistic agenda, and do not care how many people are hurt (whether it's public education, healthcare, etc.). Read through 'Indivisible,' which is available on the internet, if you need some pointers on basics.

Anonymous said...

McCleary orBust, with your comment and attitude, are you surprised that Repubs hate 206ers?

Kate, you refer to the Repub "nihilistic agenda." You do realize that the Legislature finally started taking action on fully funding basic education only AFTER the Repubs took control of the Senate, right? You get that it was Repubs who lowered tuition in higher education for families, right? You get that the Early Start Act and ECEAP expansion occurred only AFTER the Repubs took control of the Senate, right?

Nihilistic indeed.


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