January 22, 2018
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Passages: Gov. John Spellman

Former King County executive and Washington’s last Republican Gov. John Spellman died Tuesday. People across the state remembered an intelligent consensus builder who championed government accountability, stood up for the environment, and worked to avoid deep cuts to the state budget during a 1980s recession.

“Out of all of John Spellman’s contributions as King County executive and later as governor, the one that never received enough credit was his support for our state’s public schools,” Senate Minority Leader Mark Schoesler said in a statement. “Although he took office during the post-Jimmy Carter, post-Dixy Lee Ray economic downturn, he and his fellow Republicans who led the Legislature prioritized spending to put more than half of the state’s general fund toward public schools. And when the downturn persisted, he still made special efforts in his second biennial budget to protect the schools.”

Spellman was “a pipe-smoking aficionado of jazz music” who emerged as a Republican reformer in the 1960s, the Yakima-Herald Republic wrote.

He opposed a proposed oil pipeline through the Puget Sound, and faced with deep spending cuts in state government, signed sales tax increases.

The Everett Herald wrote that Spellman had no regrets.

“I never let politics break my heart,” Spellman said in his biography. “Politics is politics. Sometimes it’s the best salesman who wins, but I have no regrets. I’m proud of what I did as governor. I did a lot before that, too.”

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Key Workforce Education

Help community colleges meet job training needs

By The Editorial Board of The (Everett) Herald

The state's 34 community and technical colleges are playing an indispensable role in educating and preparing students for further study and advanced degrees at universities but also for more immediate jobs with employers throughout the state, particularly in manufacturing and other trades.

With some 740,000 job openings in the state expected over the next five years -- and more than half of those requiring post-high school education and training -- community and technical colleges represent the best option for many of those students...

Read the full editorial in The Herald
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