What was the main agenda of the last two legislative sessions?
The same-sex marriage issue. What was resolved?
What were the special interests doing? Getting favorable legislation passed. For example, Weyerhaeuser,
in 1995 successfully lobbied the legislature to pass a salestax break for manufacturers. In 1997, it used the tax break to
lop $36 million off its assessed property valuation in Cowlitz County, depriving their schools and roads of $450,000 in revenue.
The legislature is now contemplating several major tax measures far more complex than the sales-tax break that business
desperately wants and few lawmakers pretend to understand.
The same-sex marriage issue will not be resolved in our
state until after Hawaii makes its decision. If they render
a decision allowing same-sex marriage, then my community
will begin court challenges along the same lines as those used in Hawaii.
Washington state's bridge to the 21st century
will involve legislative and court battles over this issue well into the next century.
Our legislators need to get
back to working for the betterment of all of our citizens and to end this concerted effort to deprive a minority of its constitutional
right to equal treatment under the law.
Sheila L Richardson