Saturday, January 13, 2007

They've Only Just Begun

After just a week in Olympia, you have to wonder if this is what the people of Washington wanted when they handed over control both legislative chambers to the Democrats.

As I recall, at election time, the top agenda items were things like the transportation budget shortfall and education. It appears they may have taken a backseat to a very different agenda — one that includes a state income tax, gay marriage and pay raises for state legislators.

Queen Christine's budget includes a $1 billion shortfall in the transportation budget. What I want to know is, where is the money to fund the key transportation projects that we were promised with the increase in the gas tax? It appears Gregoire and the Democrats would rather add 3,800 bureaucrats to the payroll than keep their promises on transportation.

Here's what we got during week one of the Democrats in control of the legislature...

• Sen. Rosa Franklin has introduced a state income tax

• Sen. Majority Leader Lisa Brown and other Democrats are actively lobbying for higher pay from the citizens panel that oversees pay raises for the governor and state legislators. The panel is already recommending the largest pay increases in the past 20 years — including a 10 percent raise for the Queen. But they still want more!

• Sen. Ed Murray and Rep. Jamie Pedersen have introduced a gay marriage bill

I just don't believe this is what we voted for when we gave control to the Democrats. At least I know I didn't. Did you?


4 comments:

  1. There are some ridiculous bills being introduced this session, like "Designating the Garry Oak as the state oak tree" and "Designating the state ornithologist".

    But I don't think it's been all bad. A lot has been introduced so far, and its pretty interesting to read through some of these and see what your representatives are up to.

    Here are a few bills that have been introduced so far that I think are good steps forward.

    Electronic Monitoring of Sex Offenders:
    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=1133&year=2007

    Decreasing Ferry Charges by using Fuel Tax Revenue:
    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=1134&year=2007

    Amending the Constitution to provide for a simple majority of voters voting to authorize a school levy.
    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/Summary.aspx?bill=4201&year=2007

    Exempting biodiesel fuel used for nonhighway farm use from sales and use tax.
    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=5009&year=2007

    Limiting property tax increases to one percent by reenacting the provisions of Initiative Measure No. 747. (sponsored in part by Pat Lantz, suprisingly!)

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/Summary.aspx?bill=1155&year=2007


    Anyway, I don't see my representatives name's sponsoring any outrageously ridiculous bills so far, and that makes me happy.

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  2. How about raising the school districts' M&O levy lid to 35 percent? A group of Democrats in the Senate have proposed it. Oh, and for those districts that receive what is often called levy equalization funding, the bill would increase from 12 to 14 percent the lid for that funding -- in other words, the overall lid would be 35, and the state would offer levy equalization for the first 14. You're on your own from 14 to 35.

    That should really help put the pressure on the state to increase funding from state revenues for a uniform system of schools for all, don't you think? It will also be a nice complement to the new simple majority for passage of the M&O levies.

    Who heard any candidate, D or R, campaign on the promise of shifting even more of the school funding burden from the state to the local property tax bases? Anyone?

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  3. micajah,

    Thanks for that info . For one thing most people will not even know their taxes were raised because in the way they do this .

    The legislature takes no heat , and the school board , regardless who the WEA puts into those school board positions will promote those levies as the only means available to make sure Johny can past the WASL .

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