Dear friends and neighbors,
I'm sending you an update to let you know the governor has just signed the 2017-19 operating budget ahead of the midnight deadline, avoiding a government shutdown.
Additionally, the legislature has passed and the governor has signed House Bill 2242 — the McCleary fix to fully fund K-12 education. With $6 billion in new funding being sent to schools over the next four years, this final piece of legislation will help the poorest school districts in Washington. Many districts throughout the state will see lower property tax rates while also receiving significant increases in per-student funding. Teachers will receive a raise, especially new teachers, and annual automatic COLAs will prevent inflation from outpacing salaries.
Stringent reporting standards will provide fiscal accountability to protect taxpayers and ensure school districts are using taxpayer funds in the way they're intended.
I'm currently still on the House floor hoping to negotiate the capital budget before the holiday weekend. I look forward to sending more updates regarding the local projects that are included in the final version of the capital budget after it is passed.
As always, please don't hesitate to call or email me with your questions.