Wednesday, April 19, 2017
By Evan Smith
State legislators agree that they will need to return for a special session after the regular 105-day regular session ends Sunday.
Democratic State Rep. Ruth Kagi says she expects long negotiations between the Republican-controlled State Senate and Democratic-controlled House of Representatives over their conflicting budget proposals, with conflicting ways of dealing with a court order to provide full state financial support for basic public education.
Rep. Gerry Pollet, another Democrat, says that pressure from parents and school officials could push legislators to get a budget done.
Kagi, who like Pollet, sits on the House Appropriations Committee, says that she expects continued negotiations between budget writers from the State Senate and the House.
“Both the House and the Senate have passed budgets that fully fund K-12 education but with very different approaches,” she said April 9.
“The House and Senate are meeting on a regular basis to reach agreement on how we should fund public education, and what revenues are necessary to meet our obligations. There are many areas of common ground but reconciling differences is going to take a while.”
Pollet said Monday,
“Progress for a budget that funds our moral and constitutional duties to our children's education will be helped as parents, school board members and educators demand action to avoid layoff notices to our teachers.
“The House Finance Committee, on which I sit, has passed a revenue package, which will make our tax system much more fair while providing the revenue needed to invest in education.
"For example, we would totally exempt small businesses grossing under $250,000 a year from business and occupation taxes, while raising funds for schools from the largest businesses in our state, many of whom have enjoyed loopholes and exemptions from taxes.”
Kagi represents the 32nd Legislative District including the city of Shoreline and part of northwest Seattle; Woodway, south Edmonds and nearby unincorporated areas of Snohomish County; and the city of Lynnwood and part of Mountlake Terrace. She is chairwoman of the House committee on early learning and human services and a member of the Appropriations Committee and the Environment Committee.
Pollet represents the 46th District including Lake Forest Park, Kenmore, and northeast and north Seattle. He is vice chairman of the House Higher Education Committee and a member of the Appropriations Committee and the Finance Committee.