State Legislature restores some funding to schools

July 23, 2013

While some education backers are critical of the budget cobbled together by state lawmakers in late June, numbers show public schools will receive more money in the coming year.

Whether it’s enough money for the state to fully fund basic education needs is a question that hasn’t yet been answered.

The Washington Education Association issued a news release that says the state Legislature’s 2013-15 budget “falls far short” of meeting basic education requirements. In the McCleary vs. Washington case, the state Supreme Court ruled the Legislature must increase education spending and fully fund basic education by 2018.

Read more

Editorial

February 5, 2013

Separating education is not a budget solution

Last week, the state House of Representatives split along party lines on a proposal to create a separate budget for K-12 education funding. If approved, the education budget would need to have been funded before the state could look at its other obligations.

It’s just not that simple.

House Republicans said their proposal to split the budget was meant to address the state Supreme Court’s 2012 decision that the Legislature wasn’t funding education properly. That might be more believable if they hadn’t been pushing the measure every year since 2006.

Read more

State approves plan for Issaquah Creek, Lake Sammamish

January 17, 2013

NEW — 10 a.m. Jan. 17, 2013

The state Department of Ecology approved King County rules for development near shorelines, including Issaquah Creek and Lake Sammamish, county and state officials announced Thursday.

The plan, or shoreline master program, is designed to guide construction and development on almost 2,000 miles of marine, stream and lake shorelines countywide. The rules combine local plans for future development and preservation, plus recent development ordinances and related permitting requirements.

The county Shoreline Master Program includes stretches of Issaquah Creek — from the headwaters on Tiger Mountain to the Issaquah city limits — and the mouth of the creek in Lake Sammamish State Park.

Read more

Legislators’ priorities reflect education, transportation needs

January 15, 2013

Lawmakers confronted a familiar scenario as the Legislature convened Jan. 14 — a budget shortfall, opposing pressures to preserve essential services and rein in government spending, and a court mandate to spend more money on education.

Mark Mullet

Mark Mullet

Chad Magendanz

Chad Magendanz

Observers expect education and transportation to rank as the dominant issues in the 105-day session. The state faces a $900 million budget shortfall for 2013-15 and, in the meantime, faces a court order to increase education funding by 2018.

In addition to the statewide issues on legislators’ docket, a lobbyist hired by city leaders to represent Issaquah is in search of support for local projects, including dollars to upgrade transportation infrastructure and Lake Sammamish State Park.

Issaquah is also focused on securing state dollars for a transportation improvement district in North Issaquah near Costco headquarters and high-traffic retail centers.

Read more

Lawmakers to discuss dollars for schools at forum

January 15, 2013

The public can hear from top education and budget leaders in the Legislature about the funding challenges facing public schools Jan. 22 at a League of Education Voters forum.

Steve Litzow

Steve Litzow

Ross Hunter

Ross Hunter

The organization, a statewide education advocacy group, invited a Democrat, state Rep. Ross Hunter, and a Republican, state Sen. Steve Litzow, to discuss competing visions for education funding in Washington.

Residents can listen to the Eastside lawmakers — Litzow is a Mercer Island resident; Hunter hails from Medina — at the King County Library System Administration Building.

The incoming Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee chairman, Litzow, represents Issaquah and other communities in the 41st Legislative District, a suburban swath between lakes Washington and Sammamish.

Read more

Democrats dominate Issaquah voters’ choices

January 1, 2013

Strong get-out-the vote operation boosts candidates

Democrats dominated Issaquah in the November election.

City voters chose Democrats for every federal and statewide office on the ballot — sometimes by a broad margin and others by a handful of votes.

Issaquah overwhelmingly supported Democrats in the races for president and vice president, U.S. senator and U.S. representative, and every statewide office. Only incumbent Republican Steve Litzow, a 41st Legislative District state senator representing about half of Issaquah, earned support from a majority of voters inside city limits.

Read more

How did Issaquah vote?

January 1, 2013

City-level results from the November election show Issaquah voters followed statewide trends on some issues, or occasionally chose another direction.

Read more

Issaquah Democrat Mark Mullet joins state Senate

December 4, 2012

State Supreme Court Chief Justice Barbara Madsen (left) administers the oath of office to state Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, in the Senate chamber Nov. 30. Contributed

Issaquah City Councilman Mark Mullet joined the state Senate on Nov. 30 — 45 days before other freshman lawmakers convene in Olympia for the 2013 legislative session.

In a ceremony on the Senate floor, state Supreme Court Chief Justice Barbara Madsen administered the oath to Mullet as the Democrat’s family members watched.

Mullet joined the Senate after a bruising contest against Snoqualmie Republican Brad Toft to represent the 5th Legislative District — a mishmash between suburban and rural communities stretched between Issaquah and Snoqualmie Pass.

The last senator to represent the district, Maple Valley Republican Cheryl Pflug, resigned from the seat in June to serve on a state board. Sammamish Republican Dino Rossi — senator from the district in the late 1990s and early 2000s — served in the role between Pflug’s resignation and Mullet’s arrival.

Read more

Issaquah Democrat Mark Mullet joins state Senate

November 30, 2012

State Supreme Court Chief Justice Barbara Madsen (left) administers the oath of office to state Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, in the Senate chamber Friday. Contributed

NEW — 4:05 p.m. Nov. 30, 2012

Issaquah City Councilman Mark Mullet joined the state Senate on Friday afternoon, 45 days before other freshman lawmakers convene in Olympia for the 2013 legislative session.

Read more

Steve Litzow, Marcie Maxwell prevail in 41st Legislative District

November 13, 2012

Incumbents triumphed in the race to represent Issaquah and other 41st Legislative District communities.

Steve Litzow

Marcie Maxwell

Steve Litzow, a freshman Republican state senator from Mercer Island, outpaced Mercer Island Democrat Maureen Judge. Renton Democrat Marcie Maxwell, a state representative elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2010, cruised to commanding victory against Issaquah Republican Tim Eaves, a novice candidate.

Issaquah’s Cougar Mountain neighborhoods and North Issaquah fall inside the district, a suburban swath stretched from Mercer Island to Sammamish.

Litzow said the outcome reflected the district’s moderate character. Redistricting last year removed part of Renton and added part of Sammamish to the district.

Read more

Next Page »