Letters to the Editor

Hill has not done his job, support Isenhower | Letter

Letters to the editor - Reporter file art
Letters to the editor
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I am writing to dispute Steve Swedenburg's letter supporting Sen. Andy Hill's action this year in the legislature. Hill, along with the Senate majority refused to eliminate tax breaks totaling $200 million that the House majority passed and dedicated to additional education funding. The Senate majority only agreed to $56 million from the general fund. This against the $3 billion that the McCleary decision estimates we are under-funding our statewide education system. The voters of Washington have approved increases in teacher pay but no state funded cost of living increases have been paid for 4-5 years.

The tax breaks that Hill and the Senate majority would not consider closing included the following: Out of state residents exempted from sales taxes; and oil refineries for the reuse of side stream products. Last year, Hill and the senate majority approved four new tax breaks, among them tax exemption on clay pigeons at skeet shooting ranges and exemption on mint growers in Sen. Hunneford’s district.

Hill and the Senate majority have failed for two years running to pass a transportation budget for completion of important 405 and 520 improvements. Their failure to prioritize transportation projects means we sit in traffic jams and ride overcrowded buses. This congestion costs us all time and productivity. By failing to properly fund transportation, including transit and local roads, Hill is dodging his responsibilities.

For the first time in 18 years the legislature failed to pass a construction budget. The house passed it with broad bipartisan support, but not one member of the Senate majority voted for it. As a result, many projects were not built and 2,500 jobs were not created.

This is a record of failed leadership. We deserve better. The Republicans have forfeited their right to represent us as the Senate majority.

Matt Isenhower has pledged to close tax breaks and fund our state’s obligation to adequately fund our children’s education. Matt has pledged to pass a transportation budget that moves all sectors of our transportation system forward. Matt will support a state construction budget that will get many of us back to work and build the priorities of the Eastside. Join me in supporting Matt Isenhower.

Ken Albinger, Kirkland

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