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Sen. Andy Hill’s budget missed our priorities | Letters
• As a parent and constituent, I felt compelled to respond to Sen. Andy Hill’s claim that his budget funded our priorities, especially education. Hill did not make a significant increase in education spending during the last legislative session as he claims. While education spending did increase, it was only by about 1 percent of what the state Supreme Court and members of both parties have said is needed to meet the needs of our children. That means we have 99 percent more to go.
Sen. Hill chose to give lip service to what is a looming obligation to our kids and our state’s future.
Sen. Hill could have added $200 million to Washington’s education system by eliminating inefficient, unprofitable tax breaks, but instead he protected these tax breaks, prioritizing oil company profits over kids. It is time to make real investments in our children. I give Sen. Hill’s budget an F grade when it comes to our kids and our priorities.
Kathleen Reynolds, Redmond
• As a constituent of Sen. Andy Hill’s, I read with great interest his guest column in your newspaper (addressing our community’s priorities for government, April 25). Our state is at a crossroads due to the Supreme Court mandate to fully fund education, and we have an obligation to our children to
choose the right path.
Unfortunately, the path Sen. Hill has chosen leaves our families and our schools to fend for themselves. As the Senate’s chief budget writer, Hill likes to talk about education. Yet those like myself who care about our local schools know this legislative session was another missed opportunity for our kids.
Our schools are so severely overcrowded and underfunded due to the failure of Hill and the Senate Republicans to meet our constitutional obligation to fund education. Our very own Lake Washington School District needs 79 new classrooms to reduce class sizes in kindergarten through third grade.
There were solutions readily available this session, but Hill chose not to take advantage of them. Hill refused to close a single one of the 650 tax loopholes on the books — including one for “Big Oil” — that cost our state billions each year. Instead of closing tax loopholes, he proposed to open 18 new tax loopholes that would have cost us $87 million. Hill prioritized greedy corporations and insider lobbyists over our kids’ future.
Our education system will not be funded until we elect people willing to do more than just pat themselves on the back. This November, I ask my neighbors to join me in voting for Matt Isenhower, who has promised to support working families and our kids’ education instead of corporate lobbyists.
Sharon Sherrard, Kirkland