November 20, 2017
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Supreme Court says lawmakers aren't moving fast enough on McCleary compliance

In a unanimous ruling last week, the state Supreme Court said that the Legislature's bipartisan education funding bills this year will fully fund basic education in the state -- but that the time frame for doing so is a little later than the court's September 2018 deadline. Because of this, the court said it will keep its contempt order and $100,000 daily sanctions in place for the time being.

The Herald and The Seattle Times reported on last week's ruling, and The Times offered a quick primer on the complex issues surrounding the McCleary case.

AWB President Kris Johnson said the ruling is an important milestone that acknowledges how lawmakers from both parties have worked together over the last four years to make historic investments in school funding, adding an additional $4.5 billion for K-12 education -- plus another $7.3 billion approved this year.

“Washington will for the first time in decades spend more than half of its total budget on K-12 education,” Johnson said. “We are pleased the court acknowledged this significant progress in its order today and concluded that the state’s plan is adequate to satisfy the mandate to fully fund the program of basic education.”

For more on education policy, contact Amy Anderson, AWB government affairs director.

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Continue Bipartisan Successes

One-party rule in Olympia should not end bipartisan effort

By Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville

The election this month of Democrat Manka Dhingra to represent the people of the 45th legislative district changes the landscape of the Washington state Senate, resulting in a return to one-party rule in Olympia.

However, it does not have to change the bipartisan way in which the Legislature has operated since a group of Democrats joined with Republicans in 2013 to govern by consensus, ushering in unprecedented achievements.

For the past five years, the bipartisan Majority Coalition Caucus controlled the Senate, while Democrats controlled the House of Representatives and governor's mansion. For measures to pass, members of both chambers had to debate, negotiate and compromise.

This process resulted in the passage of historic legislation, such as the first-ever college-tuition reduction, a $16 billion transportation package and a plan to fully fund basic education with equitable levy reform...

Read the full op-ed in The Seattle Times
Legal Maneuvers

Be watchful of Seattle's income tax

By The Tri-City Herald Editorial Board

In July, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to impose an income tax on its wealthiest citizens, knowing full well the decision would end up challenged in court.

That apparently was part of the strategy.

By spurring debate, advocates for the Seattle income tax hope to reverse historical precedent and open the door so other communities can follow Seattle's lead.

If that were to happen, it's reasonable to think the next step would be an effort to impose an income tax statewide. That's why we should be watching this issue closely.

Read the full editorial in The Tri-City Herald
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