Sewer and water pipes circa 1956
(Photo credit: Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection)
The Washington State Legislature has been directed by the State Supreme Court to properly fund public schools, and Robinson Noble fully supports this action. The proper funding of public schools in the State is crucial to maintaining the local economy and the standard of living all Washingtonians enjoy. However, the State Senate is currently looking at funding schools by taking money from the Public Works Trust Fund (PWTF). Senate Bill 5985 would permanently redirect 67% of the allocated Real Estate Excise Tax funds and 100% of the allocated Public Utility and Solid Waste Taxes funds away from the PWTF and to the Education Legacy Trust Account created in 2010. If passed, the action will become effective in July 2013 and greatly reduce funding for the PWTF.
Improving the infrastructure of Washington State is critical to our economy, including the health of our public schools. It is widely acknowledged among the engineering community that we have a huge problem in the United States with funding infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gives the country an overall grade of D+ on infrastructure (an individual grade for Washington State is not yet available – both Oregon and Idaho earned C- grades for 2010 and 2012, respectively). This is not the time for Washington State to be cutting funding for the PWTF. The PWTF provides grants and low-interest loans to local utilities for water, wastewater, solid-waste, bridge, and road projects. The Daily Journal of Business reports that “every dollar invested by the PWTF in basic infrastructure yields an additional $3.60 in statewide economic activity.” So, not only is the PWTF important to improving failing infrastructure, it also helps spur economic growth (which, in turn, provides needed tax dollars for schools!).
Certainly the Legislature can do better for schools than by crippling the PWTF. I encourage you to write your legislators today in support of both schools and the Public Works Trust Fund.
[Updated 4/9/13 to reflect the Best Selector of Upsets prize winner.]
The Louisville Cardinals are the 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Champions!
Here are the Final Basketball Tournament Contest Standings after Monday’s Final.
Thanks to everyone that participated and congratulations to all of our prize winners:
- Marc Marcantonio – First Place Winner ($100)
- Blair Goodrow – Second Place Winner ($75)
- Brian Kalab – Third Place Winner ($60)
- robin – Fourth Place Winner ($50)
- Ronnie Black – Best Score after Round 2 ($50)
- Gordon Williams – Best Score after Round 1 Tiebreaker ($50)
- Basketball bunny – Best Selector of Upsets ($50)
- Dave Laush – Fifth Place Winner ($40)
- StanTheMan – Thanks for Trying ($25)
Once again we’d like to thank our sponsoring partners:
The Championship Game is set! Here are the Basketball Tournament Contest Standings after Saturday’s semifinals.
Don’t forget to check back after Monday’s Final to see the final results!
Thanks again to our sponsoring partners:
The Washington State Supreme Court issued a ruling in March that is believed to represent the last “brick” in the very lengthy water right adjudication process started in 1977. The ruling addresses several thorny issues in the Ahtanum Creek Sub-basin west of the City of Yakima. This sub-basin has the most complex legal history in the entire Yakima Basin and was left until last for that reason.
The significance of the ruling is not so much in its findings as in the fact that this ruling essentially clears the way for the longest-term and most expensive adjudication in State history to be completed. The results can then be used as a basis for water resource management in the Yakima Basin. This is likely to facilitate implementation of several projects intended to enhance the seasonal availability of water throughout the basin and could lead to economically and environmentally advantageous active management efforts.
Ecology’s Water Right General Adjudications webpage provides a good summary of the process, and includes a link to a Yakima Herald newspaper article about the ruling for those who are not inclined to read Supreme Court rulings in their entirety. For those with judicio-masochistic tendencies, the full text of the ruling can be accessed here.