Dear Friends and Neighbors,
As a state representative, I have the opportunity to send email updates designed to keep you informed about the issues being debated in the Legislature that may impact our communities in Washington state. If you think you received this message in error, or do not want to receive email updates from me, simply click on the link below to unsubscribe from my email list.
Coffee Chat THIS Saturday
This Saturday, Feb. 18 from 10-11am, I’ll be co-hosting a coffee chat with Rep. Melanie Stambaugh and Sen. Hans Zeiger. This will be a good opportunity to discuss the work we’ve done in Olympia and answer questions you may have about the important issues facing our community.
Location: Puyallup Library
Address: 324 S Meridian, Puyallup, WA 98371
Date: Saturday, Feb. 18
Time: 10:00 – 11:00 AM
K-12 education funding
Last week in Olympia, education continued to be the main topic of conversation. Democrats and Republicans each released their own plans to address the McCleary ruling and properly fund education.
This plan released by House Democrats proposes $6.5 billion in spending, but fails to lay out how
these funds would be raised. While Gov. Inslee has proposed new taxes on energy, capital gains, small businesses, vehicles, bottled water, and other goods and services, the Democrats outline no clear way to pay for their plan.
House Bill 1843 also lacks goals and benchmarks. It increases K-12 spending, but does not include specific expectations or needed reforms.
Senate Bill 5623 attempts to provide equality in every school districts in Washington. As it stands now, many schools receive different levels of state funding per student depending on the levy rate in their area. Teachers receive vastly different rates of pay, and taxpayers pay substantially different amounts. This is due to an overreliance on local levies to fund basic education.
SB 5623 would reduce dependence on local levies to pay for education, and would increase funding equity between districts. It would establish a student-centered plan that focuses on the unique needs of students and districts. It would also increase starting teacher pay by 26 percent, provide a housing allowance of up to $10,000 for teachers and staff in high cost-of-living areas, and reward excellent teachers.
hese proposals are just the beginning of debate and negotiations. It is my hope that 2017 will be the year to settle the McCleary issue to the benefit of all the families in Washington state.
To learn more about the issues surrounding education funding this session, please take a look at my most recent legislative video update here.
House Page Program
This week, I have the privilege of sponsoring Sam Cardwell as a page in the state House. Sam goes to Kalles Junior High and plays football, basketball and tennis. It has been a pleasure having him here!
If you know someone interested in serving as a page in the House and is between the ages of 14 and 16, please send me an email. You can learn more about the program here.
As always, it is an honor to serve you in the House of Representatives. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact my office.