Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: Legislature


EDUCATION: Legislators failed to do their duty

The long, simmering legislative session is over. For some, it brings relief. Perhaps for others, a sense of accomplishment. For me, it elicits a sense of disappointment.

Legislators should be sending apologies to students, teachers and families. Their inability to work in the best interest of education is a failure to fulfill their primary responsibility.

Although funding increases for education will have some positive impact, they still fall short of mandated funding levels. A 176-day log jam driven by political maneuvering is counterintuitive to motivation from moral purpose.

Rating lawmakers’ performance on a four-point rubric assessment places them at an unsatisfactory to basic

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LEGISLATURE: Let’s pay for performance

Re: “Per diem drives up special session cost” (TNT, 5-31).

There is something inherently wrong with a system that rewards our state’s lawmakers when they cannot or will not do their jobs – such as finishing up their business during the regular legislative sessions.

Perhaps it’s time for the taxpayers to institute a system that penalizes lawmakers for sub-par performance by deducting the cost of their special sessions from their paychecks along with an individual sub-par performance deduction any time the Legislature fails to complete its business during the regular sessions.

I’ll bet that if this type of “pay-for-performance” system

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LEGISLATURE: Why reward lawmakers for failure?

Re: “Per diem drives up special session cost” (TNT, 5-31).

It’s frustrating as a taxpayer to see how lawmakers are compensated when they haven’t done their job in the time prescribed.

Since our lawmakers in Olympia couldn’t reach an agreement on budget issues, special sessions are called and reimbursement for this additional time is expected by our elected officials.

Aren’t they being rewarded for failure to do their job? Wouldn’t it be a more effective system if these funds were deducted from the lawmakers’ pay? It might actually encourage cooperation in getting a job done in a timely manner.


LAWMAKERS: Free meals shouldn’t be confusing

Re: ”Free meal limits confuse some legislators” (TNT, 1-31).

Some of our legislators are venting their annoyance that they can only get 12 free meals from lobbyists.

How horrible! I have worked for the federal government for 28 years. I never got my free meal.

We are prohibited from accepting gifts from contractors. I guess it doesn’t look like a conflict of interest when state legislators do it.

One of them explained they have no choice but to have working lunches. I have gone to many meetings and worked through my lunch many times, yet nobody had to feed me. Is

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SPEEDING: Make way for lead-footed legislators

Re: “Does state forgive legislators’ speeding?” (TNT, 9-15).

If a speeding legislator hits and kills someone, will the deceased receive a medal for service to his state? Or perhaps the deceased should receive a fine for being in the way. After all, he should know better than to be on the road while legislators are loose.


BUDGET: Rodney Tom heading in the right direction

Re: “Senate leader suggests fines to speed up work” (TNT, 7-9).

Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom has the right idea, but why stop at fining legislators only $250 a day and all per diem? Why not hit them where it really hurts? Why not fine them equal to the pay that they would earn each day they go over the allotted legislative session?

Make it mandatory attendance, and if they choose to skip out completely they get fined double that. Sort of like a speeding ticket in a school zone or construction site. They should not be allowed to

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BUDGET: Restoring dental coverage is win-win

Re: “Special session could drag on to the bitter end” (TNT, 5-12).

The state legislature has many tough decisions to make during its special session now underway. But some decisions should be easy from both a financial and a human impact perspective.

Fully restoring dental coverage for adults on Medicaid is one of those win-win decisions. When dental coverage was eliminated two years ago for adults on Medicaid, I worried about the consequences. As a dentist at Milgard Family Dental Clinic in Tacoma, I see this lack of coverage causing people to neglect preventive care, driving people to hospital

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LEGISLATURE: Pass budget first

Once again, state legislators can’t get their work done on schedule, and they’re moving to another expensive special session. This recurring problem happens because legislators have their priorities backwards. They spend most of the session working on lower-priority pet bills and leave the budget, the most important task, to the end.

Here are some of the bills that legislators thought were more important than getting the budget passed: a crucial “sip and spit” bill, allowing culinary students to taste alcohol, a vitally important bill changing “freshman” to “first-year student,” and a bill to create “National Rifle Association” license plates. There

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