It wasn’t too long ago that Democrat lawmakers were criticizing Senate Republicans because they proposed dealing with the Washington Education Association’s money-grabbing Initiative 1351 by sending it back to the ballot this fall with a funding mechanism attached, to make sure voters knew the cost of the WEA’s power play.
In fact, it was back during the regular session in April. Here’s what The Capitol Record reported after Republicans introduced their budget proposal (and hence a plan to deal with I-1351),
“Legislative Democratic leaders told reporters Thursday that lawmakers in Olympia should take the lead and limit the smaller classroom sizes that voters approved in November when Initiative 1351 passed…
“Senate Republicans plan to send a referendum to the voters in November to amend the initiative.
“Democrats plan to change the initiative by gathering the constitutionally required two-thirds support of the both chambers of the legislature.”
Democrat House Majority Leader Rep. Pat Sullivan went as far as to refer to Republicans’ plan to send I-1351 back to voters as “irresponsible” because it assumes voters will reject the initiative once they see how much it would cost taxpayers. And, the plan puts lawmakers in a position of possibly having to come back in December for a special session to address I-1351 once and for all.
Democrat Senate Minority Leader Sen. Sharon Nelson backed up Sullivan’s criticism and claimed that the idea of sending I-1351 back to voters puts the budget “essentially out of balance immediately.”
That’s why it is so ironic that, when it came time for Senate Democrats – and their leader Sharon Nelson – to act on their own proposal (limiting I-1351 to grades K-3 by a 2/3rds vote in both chambers), the liberals failed. Granted, House Democrats managed to stay true to their word. But, Senate Democrats decided to cater to special interests, backtrack on their pledge and leave a $2 billion hole in the state budget.
In direct contradiction of their previous “concerns,” Democrats are now saying the state Legislature can wait until January 2016 to find a solution for I-1351. Sullivan stated, “There are ways you could deal with it until then.”
Ladies and gentlemen, the fickleness – or is that hypocrisy – of Olympia Democrats.