Letters to the Editor

Who's really blocking school funding?

Numerous articles have appeared in the local press about the Kitsap School districts struggling to cut their services and even teachers to balance their 2008-2009 budgets. Yet how hard have Kitsap legislators worked at funding our schools?

In 2005 all of Kitsap’s lawmakers except Rep. Beverly Woods (R-Poulsbo) voted for SB 6096, reinstating the death tax.

The bill reads, in part, “...the legislature intends to address the adverse fiscal impact of the Hemphill v. Department of Revenue decision” and re-instated Washington State’s Death tax specifically “...to provide funding for education” (Education Legacy Trust Account).

This account was to fund Citizen’s Initiative 728: “...to increase education quality by reducing class size.”

In the 2008 legislative session, all Kitsap legislators except Rep. Tim Sheldon (D-Potlatch) voted to remove $67 million from the “dedicated” Education Legacy Trust account and move the money to the general fund for the 2009 operating budget (HB 2687).

The money from death taxes is still being collected, but is now going into the general fund.

Thanks to new transparency laws in government, legislators’ voting records can be easily reviewed at WashingtonVotes.org.

Voters can see for themselves who sponsors what and for which special interest, if any.

SHIRLEY BROWN

Poulsbo

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