State senator from Edmonds says she’s disappointed with 2016 legislature

State Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Edmonds, of the 32nd Legislative District, speaks with state Senator John Braun.

State Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Edmonds, of the 32nd Legislative District, speaks with state Senator John Braun.

Democratic State Sen. Maralyn Chase says that she is disappointed with the performance of the 2016 legislature.

She said last week that at the top of her disappointments list is the lack of money for public education, money that would help the state meet the requirements of the State Supreme Court’s McCleary decision, which ordered the state to provide full financial support for the state’s public schools.

She added that she expects the Supreme Court to take action.

“Perhaps they will declare all tax exemptions unconstitutional and use that source of revenue to fund public education,” she said. “The court cannot raise taxes or change the tax system, but they can declare legislation unconstitutional.”

Second on her list of disappointments is the passing of the bill to save Washington’s public charter schools. The Charter School Bill, she said, ignores the needs of over a million school children in favor of 800 students, which she said, demonstrates the power of the “Wall Street Party” in controlling the state constitution and legislature.

She notes that the bill authorized up to 40 charter schools, beginning with the eight existing charters funded at $10 million, adding another eight charters each year for five years.

“That looks like authorizing $50 million, more or less, by the end of the five-year period,” she said. “In order to implement this bill, the Wall Street Party only had to appropriate $10 million this year, anticipating $20 million next year, $30 million the next, etc. Where will that money come from? Hopefully the Supreme Court will declare this charter bill unconstitutional in a very short time. Or perhaps the representatives of the Wall Street Party will simply decide to change the statutes and use the money accruing from fines levied by the Supreme Court to fund their charter schools.

“The fine is $100,000 per day or one million for every 10 days or $3 million per month. The fines started on Aug. 13, 2015. By April 13, 2016, it will be 7 months.”

On that date, she noted, the total fine will be $21 million. She noted that the fiscal note for the charter schools bill allows for up to $21 million from the lottery funds for the charters.

“I wonder where they will find the rest of the money, she added.

Another disappointment, she said, is “the continual sweep of the Public Works Trust Fund,” which, she said, ignores the deteriorating condition of the state’s infrastructure.

“Thirty-four water systems in our state need fixing, as do local roads and bridges, sewers and surface water systems,” she said. “Local governments are responsible for maintaining these systems. The Public Works Assistance Account was established due to the recognition that local governments were not able to fund critical projects, including system upgrades. All across the state we are dealing with aging infrastructure with very high replacement costs. It is easy to predict that lack of funding is likely to result in system failures all across our state.”

“When the Public Works Assistance Account was established in 1985, it was funded by small increases in some utility and real estate taxes. The legislature has now directed these taxes to be deposited in the Education Legacy Account rather than the Public Works Assistance Account.

“This session has been an ongoing process of robbing Peter to pay Paul,” she said. “But the Wall Street Party doesn’t want to tell the citizens just how they are moving money around, shifting from one fund to another, seemingly appearing able to fund important government functions, all to avoid taxing the wealthy.”

In addition, she added that the court also could also declare any legislation using tax revenue to capitalize private companies unconstitutional – such as privately held research companies or privately held green energy companies.

“The Constitution is clear in prohibiting the use of the public’s tax dollars to make a profit — but the Wall Street Party ignores it.

“Of course, we are still No. 1 with the tax system most unfair in the entire United States. Poor working families pay about 25 percent of their personal income in taxes while the Wall Street Party members only pay about 2 percent.”

She said that the tax system is another example of income inequality.

“Forty-six percent of the children in our state are eligible for free or reduced price lunches,” she added. “You have to be poor to qualify. And we are close to 38,000 homeless school children, most of whom have a sibling and one or two parents. Homeless families in this state represent about 100,000 homeless individuals.”

Chase represents the 32nd Legislative District, including Lynnwood, Woodway and nearby unincorporated areas, parts of Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace, Shoreline and part of Northwest Seattle. She is ranking Democratic minority member of the Senate committee on trade and economic development, and a member of the Rules Committee and the committee on natural resources and parks.

Evan Smith can be reached at

Talk to us

More in Local News

Hans Korompis was a prominent local chef and the director of Mar•Ket in Edmonds. His family identified him as the diver who went missing around the waters of Mukilteo Lighthouse on June 17, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Feedme Hospitality & Restaurant Group).
‘He held our company up’: Missing diver was well known Edmonds chef

Hans Korompis, the chef behind Mar•Ket, was identified by his family as a missing diver in Mukilteo.

Staff are evaluating two more light rail alternatives for the Everett Link extension. One would follow Interstate 5 north of 128th Street SW to the Everett Mall and back to the freeway. Another would go west of 128th Street SW to Highway 99 and north to Casino Road. (Sound Transit)
Everett light rail study adds I-5, Evergreen Way options

Both options negate the spur along Airport Road to the Boeing and Paine Field area long supported by county leaders.

Federal agents recovered meth hidden in hollowed out hard drives during a search of Ryan Kane's apartment in Bothell. (U.S. Attorney's Office)
Bothell man sentenced for mailing meth in hard drives

Officials intercepted packages containing hollowed-out computer hard drives in Australia. Ryan Kane pleaded guilty.

James Lewis
New health officer worked closely with Snohomish County in pandemic

The outgoing health officer has “nothing but confidence” in his successor. The two say they had similar approaches to COVID.

Ryan Elting, conservation director at the Whidbey Camano Land Trust, talks about the important ecosystem the shoreline provides Friday, June 10, 2022, at the site of the Keystone Preserve near Coupeville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
In ‘emergency acquisition,’ 226 acres of Whidbey Island’s farmland, forest saved

The beachside Keystone Preserve, south of Coupeville, is the Whidbey Camano Land Trust’s largest purchase at $9.1 million.

Missing girl, 4, found dead in Silver Lake in Everett

Someone helping with the search found her body early Sunday morning, and Everett Fire Department responders recovered it.

Granite Falls
Granite Falls man died after crashing into tree

Kenneth Klasse, 63, crashed June 14. He was pronounced dead a week later. Police continued to investigate.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Motorcyclist dies in crash near Lake Stevens

Around 10 p.m., a motorcyclist and a passenger car crashed north of Lake Stevens. The man driving the motorcycle died.

Port of Everett hosting annual open house after pandemic hiatus

Also, Rustic Cork Wine Bar plans to open a second shop at Fisherman’s Harbor — the latest addition to the port’s “wine walk.”

Most Read