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. Rebecca Saldaña, D-Seattle, released this statement:

“The persistent voices of the people prevailed today in our state. My office and so many others received hundreds of calls and emails from teachers, students, and parents, urging legislators to fight for this bill. Democrats in the Senate never gave up. Finally, the Senate Republican majority could no longer ignore our voices and those of Washington parents, teachers and students and allowed the bill to come up for a vote.

“If this had not passed nearly every school in our state would have seen cuts. Seattle Schools stood to lose tens of millions of dollars, with kids in already struggling areas like those in the 37th hit the hardest. This should never have been a partisan issue.

“However, I am glad that it is now resolved so schools can focus solely on the great work they do for our students, and the Legislature can focus on fully and fairly funding education throughout our state.”