SHIFT Guest Opinion – Common Sense from Seattle
Jay Inslee says he wants to send $200 million more in state funding to school district administrators, apparently forgetting the legislature already increased public school funding by over $1 billion in the current budget. Today Washington’s hardworking taxpayers provide $11,400 per student, more than many private schools charge for tuition.
Inslee wants to get the money for his proposed spending increase by altering seven sections of the tax code in a way that raises the financial burden the state places on citizens every year.
Then, in an amazing act of arrogance, Inslee says the new spending is needed to, “Restore voter-mandated teacher cost-of-living salary increases.” He’s referring to Initiative 732, passed 14 years ago when the state was running a budget surplus.
But Inslee and his party had no problem repealing voter-mandated tax limitation four times. The voters restored it each time. Here’s the record.
- 1993: Initiative 601 – passed with 51% yes vote, to require a 2/3rds vote in the legislature to raise taxes;
- 1998: Referendum 49 – passed with 57% yes vote (affirmed 2/3rd tax limitation);
- 2007: Initiative 960 – passed with 51% yes vote (re-enacted 2/3rd tax limitation);
- 2010: Initiative 1053 – passed with 64% yes vote (re-enacted 2/3rd tax limitation);
- 2012: Initiative 1185 – passed statewide with 64% yes vote and approval of people in 44 of the state’s 49 legislative districts.
Inslee’s supposed respect for voters mysteriously evaporates when it comes to voter-approved policies that might limit his ability to increase our taxes.
For years liberal Democrats who controlled the legislature ignored Initiative 732, although they did raise tuition at public universities on middle-class families. Now, when Inslee wants to funnel more public money to his political allies in the powerful teachers’ union, he suddenly says raising teacher pay is a “voter-mandate.” For Inslee, the will of the voters only matters when it supports his liberal big-spending agenda and helps his political supporters.