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UPDATE – ‘Fund education first’ bill finally gets hearing

Post by Brad Shannon / The Olympian on Jan. 31, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
February 1, 2012 7:27 am

House Republicans got a hearing this morning on an idea they’ve advocated for a few years: Making the Legislature lay out a budget for K-12 public schools and pass it before laying out other budgets.

As Republican Rep. Bruce Dammeier of Puyallup put it in testimony, House Bill 2533, would “shine a bright light” on the state’s paramount duty under the Constitution to amply fund “basic education.”

A recent state Supreme Court ruling underscored that duty, finding Washington is not living up to its duty. Dammeier said his bill would help bring transparency – though not necessarily more money – to the budgeting process. “It does not guarantee any additional dollars but it does guarantee that we would hold ourselves accountable.’’

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