OLYMPIA — This week the Office of the State Actuary reported at the regularly scheduled meeting of the Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) Committee on the financial state of the GET program, a program that allows students and their families to prepay for credits at Washington public colleges and universities and be protected from future tuition increases. The Actuary reported that the financial health of the program is strong.
The Joint Select Committee on Article IX Litigation, charged with reporting to the Supreme Court on the Legislature’s progress towards fully funding basic education in compliance with the court’s McCleary v State decision, approved its final report today on a unanimous vote.
On Monday night I had the chance to talk to the League of Women Voters on KSER Everett Independent Public Radio, along with Mukilteo teacher Mark Mains. We talked about education funding, the budget we just passed and what we need to do going forward to fulfill our obligation under the McCleary decision. This session's budget was a start but it wasn't the kind of historic change that we'll need to undertake to fully fund our paramount duty of education.
Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, released the following statement on the failure of the Senate to pass a transportation funding package:
“I was extremely disappointed that the Senate did not pass a transportation funding package in the 2013 session. This funding package was supported by the business community, by labor groups, by the environmental community and by local governments because of its broad support for important job-creation projects across the state. It was passed out of the House on a bipartisan vote but the Republican majority in the Senate blocked it from moving forward.
Frockt statement on operating budget 6/28/2013
Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, released the following statement on the operating budget which today passed the Senate:
“There is no question that we have done much better for higher education than in recent memory. Holding the line on tuition requires additional direct state support to the colleges. Senate Democrats, from the first day of session, took the position that we had to reinvest in direct state support in order to do better on tuition, and we did.
I testified before the King County Council in support of passing a state-wide transportation package that includes funding for local transit. Declining sales tax revenue will force King County Metro to cut 17 percent of their service unless we pass a transportation package to provide more revenue for Metro. My testimony begins about 15 seconds into the clip below:
In 2011, Washington became the first state in the union to ban coal-tar sealants by passing HB 1721, which I sponsored when still in the House of Representatives. When it rains, the storm water runoff carries with it chemicals from these sealants that can be seriously harmful to the environment. I was glad to hear that Minnesota just joined Washington in banning these sealants.
A bill to help repay school loans for health professionals who work in rural and underserved areas was signed into law today by Gov. Jay Inslee.
“This bill kills two birds with one stone,” said by Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, the sponsor of Senate Bill 5615. “There are areas in this state that lack enough primary care professionals to provide the health care that residents need. At the same time, we have students graduating from medical school with huge amounts of debt. This bill has the potential to reinvigorate a program already in state law to help repay school loans for health care professionals who work in these critically underserved areas.”
A bill to protect children with a rare gastrointestinal disorder was signed into law today by Gov. Jay Inslee.
SHB 1216, sponsored by Rep. Cyrus Habib, D-Kirkland, and Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, would move the Department of Health towards mandating that insurance companies cover the elemental formula necessary to feed children who suffer from a rare gastrointestinal disorder called eosinophilia.
The question of gun safety finally came to the floor of the Washington State Senate on Friday. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD
Progress on environmental priorities in Washington state