Legislative

WA Supreme Court fines legislature $100K per day for under-funding education, starting today

In the bottom line of the penultimate page of an order issued today, our state supreme court writes:

Effective immediately, the State of Washington is assessed a remedial penalty of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) per day until it adopts a complete plan for complying with article lX, section 1 by the 2018 school year.

While this penalty (which won’t amount to more than $14 million before the start of the next legislative session) may be considered a slap on the wrist for the Olympians, it is certainly more than symbolic, and its significance in our effort to restore the funding necessary to properly educate our children cannot be overstated.
In reporting on the order, the Seattle Times quotes Andrew Siegel, an associate professor of constitutional law at Seattle University,

“The court intends these to have bite, intends them to demonstrate that the court believes the court’s order has been ignored and that the constitutional obligations are not being met, but they’re also calibrated in terms of size and designed in terms of structure so that they’re not meant to burn down the building.”