With no education funding plan in sight, what have lawmakers done this year?
OLYMPIA, Wash. — With an end to Washington State’s regular legislative session quickly approaching, plenty remains for legislators to do.
None the least of which is to fully fund education.
Washington State’s Supreme Court has been fining the state Legislature $100,000 a day since August 2015 for not obeying its McCleary v. Washington ruling to fully fund public schools. Fines have now racked up to $61.5 million.
As of Wednesday, no bill to satisfy McCleary has been passed. The state Supreme Court has set a deadline for funding as the start of the 2018 school year. And Governor Jay Inslee has said a method to fund education needs to be done this year, and a special session is likely if it doesn't get done within the next four days.
"This has to be done this year," Inslee said. "Our kids deserve it, the court right behind me here demands it. The constitution demands it."
In lieu of the legislature not yet satisfying McClearly, Q13 News viewers are asking: What has been done in this year's legislative session?
Below is a list of a few of the bills that have been passed and signed by the governor so far:
Bill relating to theatrical wrestling - Creates a license for theatrical wrestling schools.
Bill relating to creating Fred Hutch special license plates - Creates special Fred Hutch license plates.
Bill providing support to the alcoholic beverage mead - Helps encourage the growth of the emerging mead industry.
Bill relating to substance abuse monitoring for podiatric physicians and surgeons - Podiatric surgeons will enter into a contract with a voluntary substance abuse monitoring program.
Bill to prevent sale of biometric data - Prevents businesses from obtaining or selling biometric information.
Bill concerning state employee whistleblower protection - Adds more protection for state whistleblowers.
For a full list of bills signed by the governor, head to his website.