Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Thank you for a successful town hall!
I want to thank everyone who took time on Saturday to come to the town hall in Renton. We had a great turnout and productive discussion on the state budget, education and other important issues.
If you weren’t able to make it, or we didn’t have time to answer your question, please contact us!
Sen. Bob Hasegawa (D-Beacon Hill)
(360) 786 – 7616
Home Page: http://sdc.wastateleg.org/Hasegawa/
Rep. Zack Hudgins (D-Tukwila)
(360) 786 – 7956
Rep. Steve Bergquist (D-Renton)
(360) 786 – 7862
Senate v. House: Contrasting Values
We are now over halfway through the 2015 legislative session, and have passed an important cutoff where the Senate begins to hear legislation introduced in the House and vice versa. Looking at what has passed through the Republican controlled Senate and the Democratically-controlled House, the differences couldn’t be starker.
On the one hand, the House passed bills to:
- Raise the minimum wage,
- Provide statewide sick and safe leave for workers,
- Ensure equal pay for women,
- Enact the Washington Voting Rights Act, and
- Implement strong oil transportation safety legislation.
The Republican controlled Senate on the other hand:
- Blocked all of the measures listed above.
Looking Ahead at Education Funding and the Budget
As the second half of session continues, we will be increasingly focused on writing the budget that will fund the state’s operations for the next two years. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle came into this legislative session in agreement that funding education is our primary duty. There is also a consensus it will be our biggest challenge, as there is a significant ideological divide between where we will find necessary funding.
As you can see from the graph below, there isn’t much of the budget that can be cut – especially because so many services have been cut so deeply already. We will need new sources of revenue to fund our schools and keep the state running, and I am committed to finding that revenue in places that won’t further burden working families in this state. Capital gains taxes on the state’s richest, and taxing Washington’s largest corporate polluters must be on the table if we are going to fund our kids’ education and address our regressive and unfair tax system. Like I say, I am committed to this, and hope you’ll write to lawmakers expressing how you feel the budget process should move forward.