Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, D-Bothell, released this statement today regarding the Senate Republicans’ proposal to take control of the Senate and divide control of committee chairmanships:
“Republicans use words like bipartisanship and collaboration, but their actions tell a very different story. They did not consult the Democratic party or work in a bipartisan fashion. They gave us a take it or leave it situation by seizing control of committees that have a direct impact on the budget, education, health care, and labor.
“This was not collaboration. This was a take over.
“The voters in the November sent a message to Olympia indicating their support of a democratic governor, senate, and house, including the 1st legislative district, where 55 percent of the voters re-elected me to continue our fight to fund basic education.
“Now is the time to focus on funding our existing education reform efforts. In 2009 we redefined basic education. We know the programs that we need to fund to assure a high quality education for every student. We must fulfill this promise!
“If Republicans were to control the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Committee, I fear there would be a direct threat to our progress on fulfilling the court ordered duty under the McCleary lawsuit to fully fund basic education.
“Just last session, the Republicans proposed a budget that made $74 million in education cuts and countless cuts to programs that help middle class families, public safety, and our most vulnerable citizens.
“I am concerned that a takeover rather than true cooperation could bring the legislature to a halt at a time when we must move forward for the children and families of Washington."