OLYMPIA – A month and a half after the House of Representatives passed a similar measure, the state Senate passed Senate Bill 5023 just before a key deadline, delaying the so-called levy cliff and a $358 million dollar cut to Washington schools. Following passage of the bill, Sen. Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle, released this statement:

“Every office in the state Senate has been getting hundreds of calls and emails, urging legislators to fight for this bill. The people of this state and Democrats in the Senate never gave up. Although this should never have been a partisan issue, the voices of the people cannot be ignored. I want to especially thank the people of the 11th district that contacted me and other legislators in the past weeks. It was because of these efforts the Senate Republican majority finally allowed the bill to come up for a vote.

“Nearly every school in our state would have seen cuts if this had not passed. Seattle Schools stood to lose tens of millions of dollars, with kids in areas like the 11th district getting hit the hardest.

“I am glad this is now resolved so schools don’t have to waste more time on planning for cuts, and the Legislature can stop wasting time and negotiate a proposal that fully and fairly funds our public schools.”