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Tag: Bob Hasegawa


Speaker Frank Chopp: State bank could help students

House Speaker Frank Chopp opened the 60-day legislative session today with a speech laying out House Democrats’ priorities: preserving basic education funding; maintaining safety net programs like Apple Health, the Basic Health Plan and Disability Lifeline; stimulating the construction industry; endorsing gay marriage.

And one priority that is more surprising: A state-run bank, an idea that has strong support in the Occupy movement as an alternative to Wall Street banks.

Chopp said an “investment trust” would help college students obtain cheaper loans:

Tell me, why is it that I can get a loan for a new car today at

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Rep. Carlyle’s tuition-setting bill passes House Higher Education Committee

The House Higher Education Committee passed on a tuition-setting bill by Rep. Reuven Carlyle today, a first step in moving legislation that would change the funding model for higher education in the state.

Representatives from both parties voted 10-5 to pass Substitute House Bill 1795, which would give four-year colleges and universities full tuition setting authority for four years and set up a new middle class financial aid program.

“First and foremost, the legislature is faced with a crushing reality of rising tuition,” said Carlyle, a Seattle Democrat. “ It’s just a matter of can we do it with some real intelligence and fairness to students.”

The substitute bill, which Carlyle said he revised along with a working group of university students, faculty and administrators, would give public universities unlimited tuition-setting authority for four years but would require that any yearly tuition increases that go over a certain amount—9 percent for some universities and 11 percent for others—pay for financial aid for middle-income students.

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Bills by Rep. Hasegawa and Sen. Prentice would create a state bank

Faced with a tight credit market, recession and dwindling state funds, one proposal lawmakers have on the table is setting up a state bank.

Bills in the House and Senate would create the Washington Investment Trust, a move applauded by many small business owners, but opposed by the State Treasurer, who says it would be risky and unconstitutional.

Rep. Bob Hasegawa, the House bill’s sponsor, said the proposal was modeled after a similar institution in North Dakota and based on the idea that state credit should not be at the disposal of Bank of America, where Washington currently keeps its money.

“Why don’t we create our own institution, keep that money in our state and we make money off our money that we can then reinvest back into our community?” said Hasegawa.

He said that the North Dakota bank had been successful, leading to a budget surplus this year and preventing bank failures during the 2008 financial crisis.

The bills would set up a blue ribbon task force charged with organizing the bank, in which all state funds would be deposited. The bank could then use that money to make loans to businesses, farms and students and could also lend to other financial institutions to stabilize the Washington economy.

Assistant State Treasurer Wolfgang Opitz said he and Treasurer James McIntire opposed the idea.

“This bill, if adopted, would place both public funds and the state as a whole at significant risk,” he said.

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State House musical chairs benefit Jeannie Darneille, Larry Seaquist, Steve Kirby

Rep. Jeannie Darneille lost out to Rep. Ross Hunter for the powerful post of budget chairman, but Darneille is still moving up. She will be one of two vice-chairs to Hunter.

In the reconfigured House committee structure approved by Democrats and unveiled today, Darneille, D-Tacoma, will take point on the spending side of the budget while Rep. Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle fills the same role for taxes. She will be vice chair for appropriations; he will be vice chair for finance.

Previously, the two were split into different committees with Hunter chairing Finance and Rep. Kelli Linville, who was defeated

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