Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Since my last update, education proposals to address the state Supreme Court McCleary order have emerged.
In fact, a public hearing was held on both proposals in the House Appropriations Committee. There are great differences between the proposals.
The Senate Republican plan would implement a flat statewide property tax levy of $1.80 per $1,000 in assessed value, replacing the current system of varying levy rates from district to district. It would also replace the current school funding formula with a set minimum funding level of $12,500 per student.
I have concerns with the House Democrat plan as it would rely on major tax increases that are unrealistic, while the Senate Republican plan would provide for education funding within existing revenues. To negotiate in good faith, I believe the Democrats must show they have the votes for the taxes they need to implement their McCleary plan. You cannot put forth a plan if you cannot pay for it.
Click here to watch my video to get more details on the bills. Or, you can click on the photo.
In this week's video, I also discuss the “use of force” issue and the gun registration legislation before us.
Tourism legislation update
Good news, my tourism bill made it out of the policy committee unanimously and it now has a public hearing scheduled in the House Appropriations Committee.
The press has picked up on our efforts and has been very supportive.
Yakima Valley businesses hope state is serious about reviving tourism (Yakima Herald)
Lawmakers push for statewide tourism program (Kitsap Sun)
EDITORIAL: State needs to join rest of nation with statewide tourism promotion effort (Tri-City Herald)
EDITORIAL: Reopening state tourism office would boost economy (Everett Herald)
State tourism plan could help communities throughout Washington (NCWLife)
Tourism funding gains traction in House (The Lens)
Legislature to consider re-establishing tourism marketing program (Walla Walla Union-Bulletin)
I will keep you updated on how the bill progresses. We have also begun floor action – which means the full House of Representatives is voting on bills that made it out of committee. We will keep you apprised if any noteworthy bills are passing the House.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns with the legislation before us.