May 1, 2017

Senate Budget Committee Hears Bill on Tax Increases, Bills Signed/Vetoed

On May 1, the Washington State Legislature will enter the second week of a 30-day special session.

Senate budget committee heard testimony for and against tax proposals Wednesday, April 26. Parents, social services advocates and those seeking a more “progressive” tax structure testified in favor, while small and large business owners opposed. The Republican-controlled committee has no intention of moving the bill, and the hearing was just more political theater in what has been a disappointing year.

The House will return May 2 to pass bills that had originally passed the House but failed to gain Senate approval. Two of the anticipated bills on the list are HB 1046, the delinking assessments from graduation requirements bill, and HB 1341, which would create a third alternative to Pro Teach for 2nd tier certification.

The big news in bill signings was Governor Jay Inslee’s partial veto of HB 1017, the school siting bill.  In vetoing Section 1 of the bill, Inslee said he was willing to consider another bill that didn’t allow housing hookups to any sewer extended to a school outside the Urban Growth Area, and that he’d like the “bar set higher” for districts to look inside the UGA before siting a school in a rural area. Inslee let stand a provision that helped the Bethel and Eatonville school districts, and other school districts in Pierce County that will use septic systems and wells.

The Week Ahead

The House Finance committee will meet at 9 a.m. May 2 to hear bills that would remove the tax breaks awarded to the Boeing Company if jobs are reduced in Washington state.

The House is expected to be on the floor for caucus and session at 10 a.m. on the 2nd. No word on the Senate schedule yet.

It has been reported that the education funding negotiators are meeting six times a week to work through various funding provisions.

It has also been reported that the Senate Republicans are asking their members to meet with their school districts while in district as a way of explaining the Senate Republican education funding plan and selling it to districts and their local community. The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) has provided detailed information and pivot tables for all the proposals, and local levy expenditure comparisons, based on the 2014-15 school year (here, and click on Levy Expenditure by District 2014-15).

Prepared by
Marie Sullivan
WSPTA Legislative Consultant

Category: Advocacy , Education , Legislative

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