The Second Special Session of Legislature began on Wednesday, June 12. Legislation passed this week includes the Senate version of the state operating budget, an estate tax “fix,” and education performance issues.
Senate Bill 5034, Second Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5034: State Operating Budget
Passed the Senate on June 8 by a vote of 25-23
This bill makes appropriations for the various agencies and programs of the state for the 2013-15 biennium. It adds $1.5 billion more to K-12 education; includes $240 million for a learning assistance program for high poverty schools, and $41 million to phase in expansion of full day kindergarten. Cost-of-living raises for teachers are repealed and the assumed $320 million are redirected to basic education. The bill also moves forward with a federally funded Medicaid expansion that is assumed to save the state $320 million.
Sen. James Hargrove (Hoquiam) N
House Bill 2075, Engrossed House Bill 2075: Restoring the application of the Washington estate and transfer tax to certain property transfers
Passed the House on June 13 by a vote of 53-33
This is the so-called “estate tax fix” to avoid some $160 million in refunds and cancellation of future collections in response to a Supreme Court decision that ruled transfer of certain marital property is not subject to the Washington estate transfer tax. The bill requires certain marital trust property to be specifically included in an estate for purposes of the Washington estate tax. It provides a deduction for family-owned businesses, adjusts the $2 million deduction by inflation on an annual basis, and Increases the top four estate tax rates by one percent. Under this bill, these rates would now range from 18 percent to 20 percent. The effect of the bill is retroactive.
Rep. Steve Tharinger (D-Sequim) Y
Rep. Kevin Van De Wege (D-Sequim) Y
House Bill 2075, Engrossed House Bill 2075: Restoring the application of the Washington estate and transfer tax to certain property transfers. Passed the Senate on June 13, 2013 by a vote of 30-19.
The bill passed both houses of the legislature and was sent to the Governor for signature to meet a Friday, June 14, 2013 deadline. Without passage of the bill, an initial round of some $13 million in refunds would have had to be issued.
Senate Bill 5242, Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5242: Providing for policies regarding the transfer of teachers
Passed the Senate on June 9 by a vote of 26-19
This is the “Mutual Consent” bill that requires mutual agreement of the principal and the teacher affected for assignment to a particular school. It requires that evaluation results be used as a factor in the consideration of an assignment agreement beginning in the 2015-16 school year and permits assignment of a teacher to a temporary position if mutual agreement is not reached. The bill also permits initiating nonrenewal of contract notices for a teacher who no longer has an assignment to a school and is not assigned to another permanent position for eight months. The act includes a referendum clause to submit it to a vote of the people at the next general election.
Senate Bill 5946, Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5946: Strengthening student educational outcomes
Passed the Senate on June 13 by a vote of 26-22
This makes the State Superintendent of Public Instruction responsible for providing reading and literacy benchmarks and standards, research and best-practices, intervention models, and professional development to school districts. School districts are responsible for providing reading and literacy instruction and services to students in grades K-4, based on the student need. The reading and early literacy systems provided must include screening tools to identify struggling readers, and include research-based strategies to help families assist in improving students' skills. The bill also addresses student discipline and educator support and professional development.
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