Presumably, your life, liberty and property are once again safe since the Legislature is no longer in session, but dont bank on it.
With a $2 billion surplus, Democrats firmly in control of both houses and a Democratic governor who has sworn fealty to the ever-greedy labor unions, there was no question but that they would go on a spending spree. They did, in fact, spend $4 billion more this time than for the last biennium. On what? Well, 3.000 additional state employees, creation of a new agency to watchdog Puget Sound cleanup, raises for teachers and state employees, expanding health care.
They gave labor the plum of paid family leave with workers entitled to $250 a week for five weeks for the care of a newborn or adopted child. They couldnt decide how it should be paid for, so they named a task force to figure that out by Jan. 1. The agency that will have to be set up to collect and distribute the money will cost a bundle.
Labor wanted to allow the same family leave to care for ailing family members, so dont kid yourself that wont be tacked on later, when theyll also decide $250 a week isnt enough either.
Where theyll get the billions needed to clean up Puget Sound is a question. As I recall, the last time they were pushing a Puget Sound cleanup plan, they got the money from tobacco taxes and spent most of it in grants to community clubs to sit around and talk about the problem.
Property owners got a kick in the head with passage of a constitutional amendment to require a simple majority to pass school levies instead of a 60 percent supermajority. It will be on the ballot in November, but the media and the unions will be crying their eyes out all summer over the condition of the schools and a lot of you poor saps will fall for it.
When will you realize that if money was all it took to fix the education mess, it would have been fixed years ago, considering what were spending? Even as teachers were getting raises, the fact they are doing a lousy job was confirmed when they delayed by six years the requirement that students pass math and science tests on the WASL in order to graduate from high school. Maybe well have to import math and science teachers from Japan or some other country where they know how to do it.
The campaign to make Seattle San Francisco Light got a boost by granting lesbians and gays the same rights as married couples. Why a man living with a man or a woman living with a woman, none of whom is capable of having offspring without outsiders assisting, is comparable to a wife is beyond me.
Washington Legislature also used Al Gores error-filled fiction on global warming as its Bible in targeting greenhouse emissions. They should have turned instead to the works of their former governor and scientist, Dixy Lee Ray, who called Gore an environmental extremist ignoring the truth because it counters his political aspirations.
A rainy day savings account of $134 million was established to which 1 percent of general fund collections is to be added each year. Theyll find a way to pilfer that the way they did the other reserve fund they raided a couple of years ago.
Medicaid coverage was extended to 38,000 more children, including foster children and illegal immigrants. Families of four making $60,000 a year will be eligible. Thats a pretty low threshold. But what the heck, its only money. The Democratic partys goal is to get as many people on the public dole and payroll as possible. At the rate were going, theyll be a majority in one or two more legislative session cycles.
Adele Ferguson can be reached at P.O. Box 69, Hansville, WA, 98340.
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