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Monday, April 11, 2011

Cindy Ryu's Statement on "House 11" Challenging the Budget for Education

Rep Cindy Ryu is passionate about education and how it gives more people the opportunity to succeed.
She is a graduate of UW with a Masters in Business and two of her children are also graduates of the University. She and eleven other Democratic legislators are putting forward a bill challenging the House Budget.


On Monday, 11 freshman Democratic state representatives introduced House Bill 2078, which reduces preferential tax breaks in order to provide $170 million in 2011-13 for K-3 class size reduction. Thirty-six other Democrats have since joined the effort. Rep. Cindy Ryu (D-Shoreline), one of the original sponsors of House Bill 2078, issued the following statement.
Today I am announcing that I and ten other freshman Democratic Representatives are proposing House Bill 2078. It seeks to raise roughly $170 million to reduce K-3 class sizes by curtailing special tax preferences for mortgage lenders and out-of-state shoppers.
On Saturday, the House passed a budget proposal that requires $4.4 billion in deep funding reductions for public schools, colleges and human services for our most vulnerable neighbors.
One of the most painful choices in this budget was the decision to (again) suspend the effort to reduce class sizes in public schools. Education is my top priority, and the people of Washington passed I-728 because we know that children get more individual attention and do better in smaller classes. We must try to find a way to reduce class sizes and help children learn.
The amendment we are proposing to the B&O exemption for banks, worth $86.6 million over the next two years, protects local community banks while ensuring that Wall Street banks pay their fair share. The state Department of Revenue is unable to find any other state offering a similar exemption. These same Wall Street banks are enjoying record profits after receiving massive taxpayer bailouts. For example, JPMorgan Chase just gave CEO Jamie Dimon a $19 million raise. Our children and schools need $86 million more than the out-of-state bankers do.                                                                                                                         
Asking tourists to pay the same sales taxes the rest of us pay will not be popular, but we must remember that education is our paramount responsibility and it is more important to save our schools than it is to save preferential tax-treatment for out-of-state shoppers.
Passing this law will require a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate because of I-1053. Meeting the two-thirds requirement will be difficult, but with so much at stake we must try.
In the remaining weeks of the legislative session, we must work together for a budget that is balanced morally as well as legally. I urge lawmakers of both political parties to join us in working for a budget that comes closer to meeting the needs of our people. Passing House Bill 2078 will bring us closer to that goal.

For more information:
State Rep. Cindy Ryu: (360) 786-7880

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