Unhappy legislature didn't pass bills

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDApril 17, 2014 

Reflecting on the past legislative session, I am saddened by the number of important bills that died in the Republican-led Senate, with our 42nd District's Senator Doug Ericksen in a leadership position. A more collaborative approach to government would have had a much more positive impact on the quality of life, economy, and jobs in our state and here in Whatcom County.

Among those bills that stand out for me are the supplemental capital budget and transportation package that would have funded much needed projects for infrastructure improvements while creating thousands of jobs across the state. Here in Whatcom County this meant losing millions of dollars for cleanup work on waterfronts in Blaine and Bellingham.

I am deeply frustrated by the inadequate increase in funding for schools which is still far below what is needed to meet the McCleary decision and our constitutional duty to educate our children. Where is our commitment?

The Oil Transportation Safety Act would have meant local governments and first responders could develop disaster response plans and have needed resources. We have a right to know what is being transported through our community so that we can protect our families.

These are among many of the bills that deserved a fair hearing before the legislature but were blocked by Republican leadership, including Doug Ericksen. We deserve better.

Carol A. Gavareski

Bellingham

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