Democrats reject Fund Education First amendment to House rules
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SUGGESTED LEAD: Democrats have shot down a proposed rule by state House Republicans that would have required lawmakers to fund education first before passing state operating and transportation budgets. John Sattgast reports from Olympia.
SATTGAST: For more than a decade, House Republicans have supported a plan to fund education first. The proposal would require the Legislature to pass a separate K-through-12 education budget before any other appropriations. This year, as the McCleary education-funding ruling looms overhead, Republicans say it's more critical than ever. That's why they proposed making Fund Education First a rule in the House.
On the House floor, Spokane Valley Republican Representative Matt Shea urged members to pass the amendment.
SHEA: “I think it is in our ability to make this truly the priority and make these hard decisions first. There are plenty of bills out there on education reform. We can take those up now as part of the plan. And we can take the politics out of education funding by putting in a priority right now. And I think we need to vote yes on this amendment today.”
SATTGAST: Majority Democrats rejected the amendment on a party-line vote, 50-48. House Republicans say they'll now put their efforts behind Representative Drew MacEwen's Fund Education First measure, House Bill 1021. That legislation is sitting in the House Appropriations Committee.
John Sattgast, Olympia.
###Washington State House Republican Communications
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