Cheer the Majority Coalition if you like ….
Enjoying the gridlock on I-405 and I-5?
Wanna see more bridges collapse, like the Skagit River Bridge did earlier this year?
Happy about the mentally deranged man who stabbed two people in Pioneer Square, killing one of them? Or about the practice of “warehousing” mentally ill patients due to the lack of psychiatric beds in the state? (See The Seattle Times’ ‘Boarding’ mentally ill becoming epidemic in state).
Then you should cheer for the state Senate’s “Majority Coalition”, under the leadership of Bellevue’s own Democrat-In-Name-Only, Sen. Rodney Tom.
The gridlock and bridge collapse and stabbing and lack of treatment are perfect examples of the dangers of the Republican assault on government.
According to Annon Shoenfeld of the King County Mental Health Chemical Abuse and Dependency Service, the county has lost $30 million in funding in medical in last four year, despite increased demand. And over the past six years the state has cut 250 psychiatric beds and more than $100 million in psychiatric funding.
Earlier this year the Senate rejected the House’s transportation package that would have funded roads and saved King County Metro bus routes. Without extra funding for Metro, 20,000 – 30,000 extra cars will be on the road, and thousands of low income workers will struggle to get work.
At last week’s town hall forum on Transportation at Stevenson Elementary School in Bellevue, dozens of businessmen in fancy suits pleaded with state legislators to pass a transportation package that would allow employees to get to work and trucks to delivers the goods. Dozens of local mayors and city council members offered similar testimony.
The Majority Coalition is demanding so-called “reforms” as a condition of their approval of a transportation package. They want to weaken environmental protections, lower prevailing wages requirements, and exempt transportation projects from the sales tax — thereby starving the general fund of much-needed revenue).
Senate Republicans are also resisting a proposed 10 cent per gallon gas tax. The current state gas tax of 37.5 cents hasn’t risen since 2008, when it rose 1.5 cents. There isn’t enough money to keep up with inflation and population increases.
And they proposed an “education first” budget that would starve social services.
But without government services, our economy and our social system won’t function.