Legislature ends with basic education funding unresolved

March 25, 2014

OLYMPIA — House Bill 2797 and Senate Bill 6483 have a lot in common. Both increased funding for K-3 classroom construction, both had bipartisan sponsorship and both failed to reach the governor’s desk.

In McCleary vs. Washington, the state Supreme Court ruled the state was not sufficiently funding basic education. Earlier this year, the court ordered legislators to quicken the pace of funding to meet McCleary obligations — including K-3 class size reductions. According to the National Education Association, Washington state is fourth worst in the nation for classroom sizes.

House Bill 2797 would have sold $700 million in lottery-backed bonds to fund K-3 classroom construction; it passed out of the House 90-7 with bipartisan support. It failed to make it to the Senate floor after State Treasurer Jim McIntire said lottery-backed bonds were too risky.

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To the Editor

March 11, 2014

Klahanie

Open letter to the Issaquah City Council:

The vote is over and the residents of Klahanie and surrounding neighborhoods have said no to annexation to Issaquah. My neighbors and I voted no, not because we wanted to stay unincorporated, but because we would like to pursue Sammamish as an option. In order for that to happen, and to have the opportunity to belong to a city, I am asking for your help.

When Mayor Fred Butler and Councilman Joe Forkner were campaigning last fall, both said that they would support removing Klahanie from Issaquah’s Potential Annexation Area if the citizens rejected Issaquah annexation.

Please remember your words last fall, Mr. Butler, and please support our area in finding a home with your neighbor to the north. Time is of the essence! I would further request you not delay this process with considerations of dividing up the Klahanie PAA, which would only lead to difficulties for both cities when it comes to providing services and road improvements.

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Legislators talk transportation, schools at Town Hall

March 4, 2014

As the regular legislative session draws closer to an end, 5th District policy makers gave an update to residents Feb. 22.

Democratic Sen. Mark Mullet and Republican Reps. Chad Magendanz and Jay Rodne welcomed the public to a Town Hall at the Issaquah Highlands Fire Station 73. There, they answered questions about bills hearing discussion in this session, bills that may come in the future and the general state of the Legislature.

Moderator William Shaw gathered questions from the audience and led the discussion, beginning with a possible transportation package.

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Sen. Mark Mullet lends support to electric car bill

February 25, 2014

Two bills have passed in Olympia that are designed to help level the playing field between auto manufacturers and dealers in franchise agreements.

Amended bills passed in the House (HB 2524) and Senate (SB 6272) that would allow Tesla Motors, manufacturer of electric cars, to continue and expand its system of selling cars directly from the manufacturer to the customer.

Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, said in a news release that he supported the legislation that passed Feb. 19.

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Local lawmakers to host town hall meetings

February 18, 2014

Reps. Jay Rodne and Chad Magendanz and Sen. Mark Mullet invite 5th District residents to attend town hall meetings in Issaquah, Maple Valley and Snoqualmie on Feb. 22.

Citizens who attend will receive an update on the 2014 legislative session. The legislators are encouraging citizens to bring their questions, comments or concerns about legislation, state government and issues affecting the 5th District.

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Sen. Andy Hill stops Klahanie bill to block tax credit

February 10, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Feb. 10, 2014

Sen. Andy Hill (R-45) announced he would not move ahead with a bill he introduced to alter Issaquah’s tax credit if it were to annex the Klahanie area.

Under current law, Issaquah would get a state sales tax credit for annexing the Klahanie area. Hill introduced a bill Jan. 29 that would have eliminated that credit.

The bill came before the Senate Ways & Means Committee for a public hearing Feb. 4. Hill is chairman of that committee.

In a statement Feb. 6, Hill said he would not continue to advance the legislation.

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Traffic talks jam town hall

October 1, 2013

Traffic talks are in a jam.

To address ongoing transportation problems and lobby for a Legislature special session this fall, local and regional representatives met for a town hall Sept. 26. An overflowing crowd came to Issaquah City Hall to voice concerns about traffic and hear possible solutions.

Washington State Department of Transportation Regional Administrator Lorena Eng joined Sen. Mark Mullet, Rep. Jay Rodne, Rep. Chad Magendanz, King County Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, Issaquah City Council President Fred Butler, former Bothell City Councilman Dick Paylor and North Bend Mayor Kenneth Hearing to have a discussion in an attempt to resurrect the failed Legislature funding package and hear citizen opinions.

By Peter Clark More than 70 people packed into City Hall’s Eagle Room Sept. 26 to ask questions of regional leaders on the state of transportation.

By Peter Clark
More than 70 people packed into City Hall’s Eagle Room Sept. 26 to ask questions of regional leaders on the state of transportation.

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New budget includes funding for state park projects

July 23, 2013

Though the state budget was slow to pass, Lake Sammamish State Park will benefit from the results of two legislative special sessions.

A total of $3.5 million will be allocated to improvement projects for the park from the 2013-2015 capital budget that passed the Legislature on June 27 and was signed by Gov. Jay Inslee on June 30.

Freshman Sen. Mark Mullet (D-5th, Issaquah) championed the inclusion of the funding through the budgetary stalemate that came close to a state government shutdown.

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