Press Release

Thursday, August 13

AWB Statement on Supreme Court Sanction Order

OLYMPIA — Kris Johnson, president of the Association of Washington Business, issued the following statement on the state Supreme Court’s order to impose sanctions against the state over the pace of progress in satisfying the demands of the McCleary school funding decision:

"It is disappointing the court felt the need to impose sanctions at a time when lawmakers are making significant progress toward meeting the requirements of the McCleary decision. Just this year, the Legislature approved a state budget that adds $1.3 billion in school spending in addition to the $1.5 billion in the previous budget. In fact, education funding now represents nearly 50 percent of all state general fund spending – up from roughly 36 percent prior to the 2012 court decision. Clearly, they are making progress despite the state’s slow and uneven recovery from the Great Recession.

"In addition, lawmakers were already well aware that more work awaits them, specifically the challenging task of reforming the state’s property tax levy system. Imposing sanctions and encouraging Gov. Jay Inslee to call a special session of the Legislature at this time is not helpful to the process and we are concerned that forcing lawmakers to craft a levy reform plan, hastily in a special session, could produce unintended consequences. Lawmakers must balance the need to meet the McCleary deadline with the need to make thoughtful, careful decisions about how they tackle the next phase of the court decision.

As Gov. Inslee and legislators consider their next steps, we look forward to working with them to find solutions to this important challenge."

About the Association of Washington Business

Formed in 1904, the Association of Washington Business is Washington’s oldest and largest statewide business association, and includes more than 7,900 members representing 700,000 employees. AWB serves as both the state’s chamber of commerce and the manufacturing and technology association. While its membership includes major employers like Boeing, Microsoft and Weyerhaeuser, 90 percent of AWB members employ fewer than 100 people. More than half of AWB’s members employ fewer than 10. For more about AWB, visit

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