Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: state budget

July
9th

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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May
15th

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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May
13th

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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May
9th

PARKS: State funding vital for improvements

The biking trail in Swan Creek Park (TNT, 5-3) is off to a great start, but future trails and other improvements to the park hang in the balance of budget negotiations in the state Legislature.

Metro Parks Tacoma has applied for a Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program grant that would increase park access, expand existing trail networks, provide amenities that would attract new visitors and expand the community garden program. We thank Gov. Jay Inslee for recommending $75 million for the WWRP grant program, funding Swan Creek Park. Unfortunately, the House and Senate budgets fall short of this level.

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May
9th

BUDGET: No more cuts to home-care services

A hamper full of laundry and a grocery bag: Two common household items that seem easy enough to empty or fill. Easy enough for people who don’t need long-term services and support.

As a home-care aide, I provide vital services for seniors and people with disabilities – people whose laundry requires special treatments and whose dietary needs can’t rely on whim, but require careful planning.

The current state Senate budget proposal for the 2013-2015 biennium would cut funding for home-care services, including laundry and shopping. Some lawmakers believe – wrongly – that volunteers will come fill in to help my

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May
1st

LEGISLATURE: Majority coalition caucus a flop

Re: “Where Legislature stands on bills” (TNT, 4-30).

Here we are at the end of another session, and can anyone say they are really surprised by the list of items that were not passed? There is no budget, no transportation package and – very important to my financial planning – no idea what my tuition rate will be next year.

I am disgusted by the majority coalition caucus and its success in dismantling what could have been a positive session. Instead, we as taxpayers must pay for a special session now to accomplish the basic tasks that legislators couldn’t

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May
1st

LEGISLATURE: Let’s provide some motivation

What makes a “special” legislative session any different than a “regular” session? The voters of Washington state elect our legislator with the expectation that they operate efficiently and with the best interests of the voters, that they hash out a bipartisan budget within the time frame given.

Yet once again the Legislature is about to enter into a “special” session (40 since 1981) in hopes of reaching an agreement on the budget deficit.

Legislators know at the start of the regular session how much the budget needs to be and how many days they have to do it in. As

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