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Senate Republicans Resort to Cynical Stunt Instead of Funding Public Schools

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Rossi and Oban
Sen. Dino Rossi (right) and Sen. Steve O'Ban voted for a budget that limits educator pay and restricts collective bargaining rights.

Legislators failed to reach agreement on a state budget during the 105-day regular legislative session, which ended Sunday.

On Monday, Gov. Jay Inslee immediately convened a special session.

It’s unclear how long it will take for the Democratic House and the Republican Senate to agree on a budget. But WEA’s support for the House budget and our opposition to the GOP Senate budget remain as strong as ever.

Instead of negotiating a budget deal, Republican senators are playing political games. In a cynical stunt, Republican Sen. Dino Rossi is holding a hearing this week on a Democratic House revenue package that he actually opposes. This is a good package that will help fund public schools while protecting higher ed and important social and health services -- and make our tax code more fair for working families. Among other things, it includes a capital gains tax on high-income earners and closes tax loopholes.

Sen. Rossi introduced the Democratic House revenue package as his own bill, Senate Bill 5929. Rossi is holding the hearing on Wednesday because he's trying to defeat these revenue proposals. He's hoping that a majority of senators will vote against the revenue package.

If successful, the Senate will think they have the upper hand in negotiations on a final budget -- and the Republican Senate budget is bad for kids and schools.

We need to send a strong message to legislators in both the state House and Senate: Reject Rossi's ploy and vote YES on SB 5929 and new revenue.

The hearing is 3 pm Wednesday in Olympia, and hundreds of WEA members are expected to be there.

If you can’t come in person, email AND call your lawmakers – senators and House members both  -- at 800-562-6000.

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