Missed Votes Report for 2018 regular session released
OLYMPIA—WashingtonVotes.org has released its annual Missed Votes Report, which compiles the votes by lawmakers on recorded roll calls during the 2018 Regular Session of the Legislature. This year’s scheduled 60-day session ended just after 10:00 pm on March 8th, following passage of key budget and school funding by narrow vote margins.Read the entire blog
Legislature passes record-level education spending, even as many public school employees send their own children to private schools
The McCleary school funding case has dragged on for 10 long years. Over that time the legislature has increased education funding by 71%, or by $9.41 billion. In 2018 alone lawmakers increased spending on schools to $4.57 billion over the last budget, or 25 percent higher (see chart).
Washington now spends $13,900 per student, more than at any point in state history, and more than the tuition at many private schools.
This month, the legislature, now under full Democratic control, just added $724 million to teacher salaries in the 2018-19 school year. This has resulted in a windfall for the state’s powerful school unions. As WEA union executives like to boast, “the WEA has supported the McCleary case from the start, more than 10 years ago.”
In some areas, like Seattle, taxpayer-funded salaries have gotten so high that many public school employees send their own children to private schools.
It’s clear that, as a publicity mechanism for gaining more money, the WEA union has succeeded in McCleary beyond its wildest dreams.Read the entire blog
Happy Sunshine Week!
Happy Sunshine Week! No, I’m not talking about the fantastic weather we’re currently experiencing (though that is marvelous) but instead the national celebration of our right to know about the conduct of our government. A few weeks ago, the forecast for Sunshine Week called for a category 5 Sharknado of secrecy in Washington. That was prior, however, to the Governor’s veto of SB 6617 (Legislative public records) and lawmakers’ new promise for a transparent process to discuss legislative public records reform. There are still some nasty looking clouds on the horizon but for now we have a break in the weather to discuss next steps for legislative transparency.Read the entire blog