Click here to watch “The Impact” January 11, 2017
This week on “The Impact”:
As the 2017 legislative session begins leaders from all four caucuses weigh in on the divide over how to meet their *deadline to fully fund K-12 basic education by 2018.
Leaders from both parties in the House and Senate agree that it’s a top priority, but disagree on how to accomplish the mission. State spending on education has increased significantly in recent years, but in 2016 the court ruled that the state was still not meeting its *paramount constitutional duty.
In this week’s episode, leaders of both parties in the Senate and House share their thoughts about the best way to comply with the remaining requirements of the court order. Chief among those is the task of using state funding to fully cover the cost of staff salaries. Many school districts rely on local property tax levies revenues to supplement state funding.
“We agree that there’s too many local dollars flowing to salaries. What we don’t agree with is that this is an excuse to pass an income tax, capital gains on income tax, carbon taxes, it’s not an excuse to raise taxes,” Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, Majority Coalition Caucus.
“I don’t see a way for us to invest in the education of our 1.1 million children who are in public school without having additional revenue from everything we know,” Senate Democratic Leader Sharon Nelson, D-Maury Island.
“The Democrats on the task force presented a proposal that would move the state forward. Unfortunately on the Republican side they did not offer any type of proposal or recommendations,” House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan, D-Covington.
“We don’t want to be pushed into doing something quickly and having and messing it up. Whatever we put forward we want to make sure that it’s real good, true solution,” House Republican Leader Dan Kristiansen, R-Snohomish.
Another topic we cover on this episode is the pilot project to tax drivers based on how many miles they drive, instead of on gasoline purchases.
You’ll also hear about proposed legislation to ban the sale of assault weapons and high capacity magazines in Washington and/or create new restrictions and require special licensing.
* The deadline comes from a State Supreme Court ruling in the case McCleary, et al. v State of Washington. It stems from a 2007 lawsuit that was filed the Network for Excellence in Washington Schools on behalf of two families against the State of Washington. The suit alleged that the state was not meeting its constitutional duty to amply fund a uniform system of education.
* Washington State Constitution, Article IX, Section 1. Preamble: It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex.