The Current | Sine Die

2015 legislative session • April 24, 2015 • Sine Die  

The Current

Letter from Leadership 

Dear Friend:  

This was supposed to be the final edition of this e-newsletter -- explaining how state lawmakers made historical investments in K-12 education, lowered college tuition, expanded early learning, reformed the transportation system, and enhanced the state's mental health system. Unfortunately, this good news is on hold as the Legislature adjourned two days before the end of the 105-day legislative session.

The governor has called for a 30-day special session that will begin April 29. House Republicans introduced a resolution requesting the special session start immediately on Monday, April 27. We don't think state lawmakers deserve a break from unfinished business. 

This is a disappointing outcome. We have said since early this year the Legislature should finish its work on time. It didn't happen and with this comes the costs of special session.

The best path forward 

If there's a silver lining it's that we are not debating the issue of cuts to state government. Rather, we are trying to determine the best path forward for new investments in our state. We have the taxpayers to thank for this scenario. Our state will have nearly $3 billion more in revenue in the upcoming budget cycle that begins July 1.

Unfortunately, this is not enough for the governor and Democrats who want to raise taxes by $1.5 billion and grow state spending by 15 percent. This side-by-side comparison of the Senate and House budget proposal shows how close the two chambers are on some of the major issues. The biggest differences are tax increases and levels of spending.

Incremental progress

You are going to see stories that suggest fighting and gridlock in Olympia. Please remember we have had 11 special sessions in the last ten years, with Democrats controlling both chambers when many occurred. 

What is portrayed as gridlock is what I consider incremental progress. We will eventually see bipartisan compromises reflected in the final versions of the 2015-17 operating, capital and transportation budgets. It's also important to remember a vast majority of bills that have passed and been signed into law the last two years had strong, bipartisan support.    

Staying in touch

The next edition of this e-newsletter will highlight the details of the good news I mentioned above. Thank you for your patience.

Please continue to stay involved in the legislative process, and contact us if you have any feedback.

In your service,

Rep. Dan Kristiansen
House Republican Leader
39th District

Rep. Matt Manweller

Rep. Matt Manweller discusses taxes on TVW 

Rep. Matt Manweller sat down with TVW's Austin Jenkins and Rep. Reuven Carlyle to discuss the state's tax system and some of the proposals on the table during the legislative session. In the interview, Rep. Manweller reminds viewers who has been in charge of Olympia the last 30 years, and how 86 percent of tax incentive bills since 2005 have been prime-sponsored by Democrats. You can watch the interview here.


Teachers strike, misinformation spread 

Around 2,600 teachers in eight districts decided to participate in a one-day strike this week to protest "Senate proposals that harm students and blame teachers." As a result, more than 40,000 students were affected and many parents had to find alternative arrangements for their children.

The Senate operating budget proposal would make historical investments in K-12 education, including all-day kindergarten, smaller class sizes and teacher raises. The Seattle Times summed up the situation in an editorial by saying: "Instead of striking, teachers across Washington state should be celebrating."

It's unfortunate to see misinformation being spread about Senate Republicans by particular groups. Our education lead, Rep. Chad Magendanz, set the record straight on these claims in a recent podcast.

It's also disappointing to see teachers leave their classrooms to strike, when there are so many ways to be involved in the legislative process. Our state law is clear: public employees do not have the right to strike. A state attorney general opinion confirms this fact.  

This week


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