Larry Springer
For State Representative 45th District (D)
Friends of Larry Springer
700 20th Ave West, Kirkland, WA  98033
425 822-2907
email:
info@larryspringer.org

Latest News

Washington State Held In Contempt By Supreme Court
So Just How Did That Happen???

The Washington State Supreme Court, in the McCleary case, ruled the Legislature has not met its obligation to “amply fund” K-12 education required by our state constitution. The court gave the Legislature until 2018 to meet that obligation. It also required the Legislature to present a funding plan last April that demonstrates our commitment to meet that obligation.

In the Court’s view, a view I agree with, the Legislature has not met that requirement. The court questions our ability to reach the goal given the paltry increases in funding we have made so far.

In 2013 the House Democrats passed a budget that provided an additional $1.4 billion for K-12 education. However the Senate Republicans did not agree and we had to settle for a budget that only raised an additional $980 million, about $300 million of which was from local monies raised by school districts to provide cost of living raises to their teachers. That really means the Legislature really provided only $680 million, or about one half what the House Democrats had proposed.

In 2014 the House Democrats proposed a budget that added an additional $100 million for K-12 which included funds for teacher cost of living raises. Once again, the Senate Republicans would not agree and we were only able to provide about $50 million in additional revenue.

Is it any wonder the Supreme Court found us in contempt?

So…2015 will be a watershed session. If we do not make significant progress toward the $4 billion of additional revenue K-12 needs, which the Supreme Court is waiting to see, there is no telling what will happen next. House Democrats believe we need to allocate $2.5 billion next session to demonstrate our commitment to meet our obligation. If we do, then the 2017 session will be able to close the gap.

We all know what happens when we skip a few mortgage or car payments…sooner or later the bill comes due, usually for a lot more than we originally owed. Let’s not do that.

It’s my hope we can work with our Republican colleagues and the Governor’s office to do the hard work of funding K-12. Stay tuned, we live in very challenging times. Let’s get at it. We can do this because we SHOULD!
 

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