The Seattle Times’ editorial urging the Legislature to address behavioral health integration this session is spot on [“Integrate mental health with primary care,” Opinion, Feb. 19]. Every day in our community health center and in clinics across the state, we see patients whose physical health is threatened by substance use or mental-health issues. When…More
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When the Washington state Legislature chose not to fund Washington’s share of the I-5 bridge deal with Oregon, it threw the full responsibility and funding of a replacement bridge right back to Oregon [“Oregon governor, legislators don’t agree on future of I-5 bridge,” Politics, Jan. 31]. But the interesting fact is that the daily…More
On Sunday, The Seattle Times editorial board published its education priorities for the 2014 Washington state Legislature. “The Legislature, which convenes Jan. 13, should continue its work on the kinds of reforms, investments and outcomes that support a first-class education system, from ages 3 to 23.” The editorials focused on three key areas for the Legislature to tackle: early learning, K-12 and STEM education.
Readers weigh in on what’s arguably priority No. 1 this year in Olympia:
Teacher evaluations don’t capture nuances in teaching
Teachers are not afraid of evaluations; they are actually eager to learn how to be better teachers [“Targeting education, Opinion, Jan. 5”]. The problem is that the people designing teacher evaluations don’t appreciate how nuanced teaching and learning is. Their solutions punish rather than inform teachers.
Good story, bad leadership Congratulations to Andrew Garber for your article on state earmarks. [“Olympia earmarks make comeback,” page one, Sept. 8.] It was disappointing to learn of the reappearance of spending in our state that skirts the regular capital budgeting process, regardless of whether legislators believe them to be “worthy causes.” A word of advice for…More
Plastic is better than alternatives So now The Seattle Times falls for the cause-du-jour, the brave fight against plastic grocery bags. [“Editorial: Plastic bags should be on Legislature’s agenda,” Opinion, Sept. 11.] Alas, there is no evidence that Seattle’s plastic bags are winding up in the ocean. But there is evidence presented by a study by…More
Investigate campaign contributions The state ethics panel is barking up the wrong tree. [“Ethics probe may revamp rules on gifts to legislators,” page one, July 23.] Why are they investigating the influence of a few thousand dollars’ worth of lunches on our legislators, and at the same time ignoring millions of dollars in campaign contributions and…More
Punishments and prevention must be intensified The Legislature didn’t pass tighter rule changes because of presumed cost increases. [“Guest column: Legislature must do more to end the mayhem caused by drunken drivers,” Opinion, July 21.] It should have also looked at changes that would cover or reduce these costs. Tickets issued during emphasis patrols should be…More
Sen. Rodney Tom is at fault Thank you for the story on the public’s frustration with our Legislature this session. [“Poll: Voters give state legislators grade of D+,” NW Thursday, July 18.] As a constituent and former supporter of Sen. Rodney Tom — I even once hosted a meet-and-greet for him — I am livid with…More
Majority rules should apply everywhere The Seattle Times editorializes that Senate filibuster reform is past due. [“End filibuster abuse,” Opinion, July 17.] It argues that, inside the Beltway, majority rule is considered the “nuclear option,” while in the rest of the country this is known as an election. Where is this sensible argument when it comes to Tim…More
Political move is either irony or hypocrisy The Legislature had special sessions because Democrats control the House and Republicans control, narrowly, the Senate. [“Time to fine dawdling lawmakers? Sen. Tom thinks so,” NW Wednesday, July 10.] The Legislature split when Sen. Rodney Tom won the election as a Democrat, but then joined the Republican caucus. Sen. Tom…More