OPINION: Reducing punishment doesn’t reduce crime


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Oct. 11 -- Spokesman-Review

Sen. Bailey’s Letter to the Governor on the Higher Education Budget

Majority Coalition college tuition freeze helped keep state’s pre-paid tuition program solvent


The Seattle Times recently reported that the state Senate’s plan to freeze tuition contributed to the Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) program’s long-term viability. Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler notes the positive effects of the first tuition freeze in nearly three decades.

“We had some serious concerns over the GET program. It was a huge cost, creating a $630 million unfunded liability for taxpayers. Our work to stem the tide of rising college tuition has made not only a difference for today’s students but for those making investments in their children’s futures.

“The budget we agreed on with no hikes in tuition means a forecasted $161 million surplus for the program. This is great fiscal policy that directly impacts middle-class families by eliminating an unfunded liability. The State Actuary didn’t think we could reach this goal this fast and we are well ahead of schedule.

“Had we gone with the House Democrats and Governor’s proposal, the GET program would still be in a deficit.

“This is due to the hard work of our members and the leadership of the Higher Education Committee chair, Sen. Barbara Bailey. She saw the value of GET providing an opportunity for working families to invest in their children’s education. Without her commitment the picture would be a lot different today and those opportunities may have been lost. I know she continues to work to ensure that this option for middle-class families remains viable into the future,” said Schoesler.

Sen. Braun: Inslee seeks to expand Ecology’s reach, authority

Braun Floor


Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s announcement regarding Washington’s water quality standards includes a dramatic proposal that raises many red flags for communities and families throughout the state.

There is consensus that it is time to update our water standards. No one is suggesting that we should do less to protect our environment, but the goal must be to balance cleaner water with protecting family budgets and jobs. What we don’t need is another war on jobs with more uncertainty and threats of regulations that are impossible to measure or attain.

In addition to new rules on water quality standards, Gov. Inslee said that it was time to “take a broader approach to areas that are not currently regulated.” He defined those areas as “up stream at the source,” and that “the majority of toxins come from what we build.”


Read the rest of the guest column in the Longview Daily News, here.

Sen. Ann Rivers: Public needs voice in carbon debate


Local View: Public needs voice in carbon debate

Sen. Ann RiversBy Sen. Ann Rivers  |  Published: August 3, 2014, 6:00 AM

There’s enough chatter at the Capitol about a pair of climate-change policies — familiar but complex proposals known as “cap-and-trade” and “low-carbon fuel standards” — that it’s time to ask: What do these confusing and complicated discussions mean for the average Washington resident?

Both cap-and-trade and LCFS deal with controlling the production of carbon. The two main sources of carbon emissions are motor vehicles and power plants that generate electricity.

Washington is already a low-carbon place — especially when compared to a carbon giant such as China, which produces around 8,000 million metric tons annually compared to Washington’s 96 million. And while China’s carbon emissions are on the rise, Washington continues to find ways to reduce our carbon footprint without layering on new costly and intrusive regulations.

That said, we need to have these discussions if Washington wants to be a leader in energy. Last year, a bipartisan group of legislators joined to form the Climate Legislative and Executive Workgroup to begin studying climate policy and its effect on family budgets and job creation.

One study shows that cap-and-trade could ultimately cost each Washington household upwards of $8,200 in disposable income per year and eliminate up to 82,000 jobs.

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IN THE NEWS: State not producing enough graduates in high-tech fields

State not producing enough graduates in high-tech fields

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