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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
January 1, 2013
City-level results from the November election show Issaquah voters followed statewide trends on some issues, or occasionally chose another direction.
December 4, 2012
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.
November 30, 2012
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.
November 13, 2012
Incumbents triumphed in the race to represent Issaquah and other 41st Legislative District communities.
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.
November 13, 2012
Republican Chad Magendanz triumphed in the race to represent Issaquah and the 5th Legislative District in the state House of Representatives, and in the process, set up a vacancy on the Issaquah School Board.
Magendanz defeated North Bend Democrat David Spring, a candidate for the seat in 2008 and 2010. The challengers vied to succeed retiring state Rep. Glenn Anderson, a Fall City Republican and lawmaker for a dozen years.
“I’m really looking forward to getting out of campaign mode — which has been the focus for the last year — and rolling up my sleeves and really getting into the tough problems to solve down in Olympia,” Magendanz said a day after the election.
Magendanz said decisions made in Olympia often frustrated the school board and Issaquah School District leaders.