The Legislature entered Special Session – here are this week’s key Actions 4 Education
The 2017 legislative session ended yesterday with no negotiated budget and no resolution for education funding.
As parents and allies whose mission it is to see basic education fully funded, we are extremely disappointed that the legislature is entering a special session with partisan gamesmanship and political maneuvering taking up the headlines rather articles about legislators negotiating in good faith.
WPD will continue to advocate during special session(s) and ask you to please take one (or more!) of these Actions 4 Education to amplify our collective voice in calling for new and fair revenue to fully fund education:
1. TESTIFY OR ATTEND this Wednesday at 3:00 pm in Olympia to testify in support of new revenue — capital gains tax, closing tax loopholes for big businesses, and business tax reform–SB 5929 at the Senate Ways and Means Committee public hearing. (http://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=5929&Year=2017). WPD will provide talking points and any other information you need to successfully testify.https://www.facebook.com/events/1659419304352805/
If you are able to join us, please RSVP to Aaron Horton: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please share with interested friends and family.
To kick off special session, Sen. Rossi has introduced a revenue package for education funding (Cap Gains, B&O tax reform, Closing Tax loopholes). The bill mirrors Rep. Lytton’s which many of you testified in support of on earlier this month. This hearing and this bill from Sen. Rossi are an attempt from the Senate to end the conversation on new, sustainable revenue for education by “proving” there isn’t support for it in Washington. Based on testimony, polling, and hearing from thousands of you, we know this isn’t true. Washington is ready to fully fund education with new, sustainable revenue and we need our voices heard.
2. CONTACT your state legislators (state representatives and state senator) and and pin down where they stand on:(a) whether they support a capital gains tax.(b) whether they support closing tax loopholes on big businesses.WPD is doing a vote count on these two issues – click here to see track who stands where.
We expect ALL legislators, both Republican and Democrat, to support a capital gains tax (among other options) as part of how we fully fund our public schools. We expect Republican legislators to put their paramount duty above their desire to keep taxes low on rich people. We expect Democratic legislators to welcome the opportunity to show us their support of capital gains tax and closing big business tax loopholes. We expect all legislators to agree that it’s reasonable and right to do as 41 other states have done and levy a capital gains tax on the wealthiest people in order to help fund our schools.
3. WRITE a Letter to the Editor: Contact Robert Cruickshank (Cruickshank@gmail.com) or Summer Stinson (email@example.com) about writing letters to media about:
(a) The need for capital gains tax. Did you know that Bezos is selling $1Billion in stock a year to fund his race to space? With a capital gains tax, Washington could gain $35-70 million a year for our state’s paramount duty: public education. Space travel is awesome—and so is investing in our state’s future! If we close the loophole on capital gains, Bezos’s annual stock sale will generate tens of millions of dollars each year for the schools, teachers, and infrastructure here on Earth that helps companies like Blue Origin thrive. http://www.seattletimes.com/business/bezos-sells-1b-a-year-in-amazon-stock-to-fund-space-company-blue-origin/
(b) The Republican plan is unacceptable. It is a huge tax increase for many in the state and at the same time “it would give many of Washington’s largest corporations a sizable property tax cut.” http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/politics-government/article143531329.html
(c) The need to amply fund public education by fully funding the basic education bills of 2009-10. WA needs to fund the prototypical schools model, all unfunded education and opportunity gap closure mandates, and then layer on more for equitable education resources like family engagement, full-time librarians and nurses, and counselors.
Here’s a recent on-point letter to the editor in the Olympian from Washington grandma and WPD member, Madeline Bishop, http://www.theolympian.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article145963589.html
4. WATCH AND SHARE this excellent video about Washington’s upside-down tax code: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ROkPcs9_6mk
Thank you for your advocacy on behalf of Washington’s 1.1 million public school students!