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Senator Parlette speaks at Rotary

 

Sen. Linda Evans Parlette speaks with Rotarians April 20 about state budget complexities the Legislature will have to address next year. The graphic depicts budget line items as planets to show their comparative size. - Scott Hunter photo

State Sen. Linda Evans Parlette visited the community last week to fill in schools Superintendent Dennis Carlson on changes in the capital budget staff in Olympia, which could affect the Grand Coulee Dam School District.

Parlette spoke at the Rotary Club on Wednesday.

Parlette, who has served on the Senate Ways and Means Committee for 20 years, managed to get the state to fund the district's new school complex, which it could not do on its own because of the high amount of non-taxable federal property in the area.

She said the next legislative session will have to tackle basic education funding, as mandated by the McCleary decision by the state Supreme Court. But she illustrated the complexity of the problem by showing a graphic that depicts budget items as planets. The basic education planet, as second largest, was far smaller than the biggest, which represented the Health Care Authority, the state's implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act.

She said a discussion on basic education currently on the table involves reducing the amount of local property taxes dedicated to education while increasing the state's portion of the property tax.

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