This week in the Legislature: Report from Jim Kainber

April 17, 2009 at 2:07 pm Leave a comment

Rumors, innuendo and legislative victories…it’s all in a week’s work for Stand for Children advocates in Olympia.

Thursday, the State Senate passed HB 2261 with amendments that vastly strengthened the legislation, adding a statewide teacher/student data component drafted by the Senate leader on the data issue, Senator Eric Oemig of Kirkland, and enhanced language on early learning and a meaningful high school diploma with the target of 24 required credits.

Public pressure from Stand, the League of Education Voters, the Washington PTA and others helped the Senators feel comfortable taking this tough vote to pass a bill they can truly be proud of.

Stand leaders met with dozens of key legislators, including Speaker Chopp, and Senate K-12 Chair Rosemary McAuliffe during the week in a desperate attempt to ensure this important bill made it to the floor of the Senate and passed.  It was one of the closest votes in the Senate this year, 26 for and 23 against.

Majority Leader Lisa Brown and Senator McAuliffe brokered this compromise with members of the Senate who had reservations, and we owe them a debt of gratitude.

Tensions ran high during the days leading up to the vote, with House and Senate leadership positioning themselves as proponents of various versions of the legislation, but the final outcome was a bill with a very strong definition of basic education, four workgroups that will spend the next year developing a new model for compensation and school finance.

While we were thrilled by the Senate’s bold bi-partisan vote, there is much work left to be done with the House to ensure they vote to concur with the Senate’s amendments.  If you have been waiting for a time to reach out to your House members, it is now or never.

Here is the Roll Call vote in the senate so you can see how your member voted:

Voting Yea: Senators Berkey, Brown, Eide, Fairley, Franklin, Fraser, Hargrove, Hatfield, Haugen, Hobbs, Jarrett, Kastama, Keiser, Kline, Kohl-Welles, McAuliffe, McDermott, Murray, Oemig, Prentice, Ranker, Regala, Roach, Rockefeller, Shin, and Tom
Voting Nay: Senators Becker, Benton, Brandland, Carrell, Delvin, Hewitt, Holmquist, Honeyford, Jacobsen, Kauffman, Kilmer, King, Marr, McCaslin, Morton, Parlette, Pflug, Pridemore, Schoesler, Sheldon, Stevens, Swecker, and Zarelli

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Entry filed under: News Updates.

Senator Fred Jarrett’s recap of ESHB 2261 Historic Senate vote: Now help us cross the finish line!

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