Here is a small taste of what is going on in Olympia. The news isn’t good. I’m going to discuss just a few of the bills that have been introduced. If you read media information about these bills, they are sold as legislation that will be so very helpful. But remember that every bill introduced might help one group of people, but it will harm another group. Usually, if it is a Democrat sponsored bill, it will aid the unions and larger companies, but it will almost always damage individual freedoms, property rights, and/or small businesses. We don’t live in a perfect world, and you will never be able to legislate away all negative aspects of life. Unfortunately, the Democrats think you can, and it never ends well for those of us who value free choice and personal rights.
Now on to a few of the bills that caught my eye this week. I have added a link to the bill report for each one, so you can take a look at what the bill does.
Improving climate science education – this bill requires our public education system to teach environmentalism and climate change as science. There is much having to do with science in the discussion of the environment, but this is primarily a political and philosophical discussion. The law currently says that schools have to teach science with a special emphasis on the environment (which is bad enough – we don’t have a special emphasis on any other scientific issue – just the environment), but this bill would require teaching “science with environmental and sustainability standards.” And you know, based on everything we read in the media today, it will include teaching kids that we have to be doing something…anything…even if it isn’t effective and even if it damages the economy. All the while, they allow homeless camps with open sewers and hundreds of needles to thrive. Talk about damage to the environment! I hesitate to even take a kid to a park anymore because of the possibility of contact with disgusting and dangerous items that are ruining the environment..
Initiative 1000 – Putting into place the ability to discriminate again (under the guise of diversity). The people of this state voted to do away with affirmative action because it is discriminatory. This Initiative will put it back into place.
Allowing the local districts to increase their levy rates. We just got done with years of wrangling over the McCleary decision. The courts said that the local communities were paying for basic education instead of the state. Worse than that, local levies take in a wide range in actual dollars depending on the district. An increase of a few cents in Seattle produces far more dollars than an increase of a dollar in the rural areas. That means the rural areas have levy rates far above the cities. This creates a huge difference in the amount of money being used in that school district for education funding. That is unconstitutional.
When the Republicans passed the school funding bill in 2017, they did two things. They capped the local levy rate at $1.50 per thousand and they capped the amount teachers could get as raises to 3.1%. Last year, the Democrats removed the 3.1% salary cap, and we saw teachers asking for and receiving raises in the double digits (lo and behold, the districts are now saying they don’t have the money to pay those salaries – what a surprise).
This year, the Democrats want to allow schools to raise more local levy dollars again. This will take us right back to where we were in the first place with the McCleary court case. Of course, the school districts are in trouble, for sure. They committed all those dollars that they didn’t have to teacher salaries. They knew they were overextending their budgets – they even mentioned that they knew it while they were negotiating with the teachers union. They stated at the time that they would just go to the legislature to raise the funds to pay the bill. This is a never-ending cycle of agreeing to huge increases and then going back to the state for more because all the money is gone.
The last budget spent over 50% of our state revenues on education. Teachers already make substantially more than the average worker in Lewis County. I love teachers, but we still have to pay attention to the pocketbook. Every time we increase taxes to pay for stuff, we harm those who pay the taxes. We need to be aware of that damage while we provide services for the citizens.
Secure scheduling (prohibiting employers and employees from having flexible schedules). Take a look at the part of this bill report that describes what the bill does. They say they have written in flexibility, but it is so convoluted and complex that restaurant owners in Seattle just don’t even try to be flexible. This is a horrible bill for anyone who chooses to work in that field for purposes of flexibility.
I had one server tell me a couple of instances that are good examples. She would drop her child off for daycare while she worked. If it was super busy, she would stay later and make a little extra money. But if there were no customers, her boss would let her leave early on those days, so she could spend more time with her child. In another instance, she had a table of 12 people (in a high-end restaurant). Her time to get off was 10:00, but the people at the table were having a good time and obviously weren’t ready to leave. She wanted to stay later to get the tip she deserved instead of having someone else get the tip. But in Seattle, that’s not possible. And, of course, union bargaining agreements are completely exempt, if they are deemed more generous than this law.
The interesting thing is that the people who work as servers are mostly happy with the flexible schedules, and the businesses are equally happy with it. After all, you never have “secure customers” in that business. You never know whether you will have a busy or slow day in the restaurant business. Are there people who want to have 14 days notice before their schedule changes? Of course – but there are also people out there who want you to pay for their college education, too. It doesn’t make it the right thing to do or the best for everyone. Prohibiting flexibility for those in the hospitality business makes for a bad bill.
Eliminates the death penalty –
Changing the definition of employer/employee relationships. Any time you see a bill with a name like this, you can bet it is damaging to someone who is self-employed. If there is one thing the Democrats can’t stand is someone who works for themselves. They also tried to get a bill passed through that affected only hairdressers, but fortunately that group was able to organize and show up in force. That bill is dead because it became too much of a hot potato, but there are others that damage those who are self-employed. This is one of them –
I will end this week’s email for now, but there are hundreds of other bad bills, and many of them are moving swiftly through the process. I think the last time I counted, there were over 30 firearms bills, and a lot of bills geared at raising your taxes. This is a tough year for Republicans. They are doing what they can by speaking out against these bad bills and voting no. But the Democrats have a considerable majority this year, and there is not a lot we can do to stem the tide. The hairdressers proved it could be done, but it takes a crowd from the districts where Democrats have been elected to get a bad bill killed. Please feel free to spread the word!