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Prioritize Education in Washington

Thursday, February 6, 2014, Washington state House lawmakers heard a plan to tighten an antiquated loophole that enables oil refineries to save millions of dollars in tax breaks, and prioritize education for Washington children.

This is a great opportunity. We can curb subsidies for fossil fuel companies and channel the money toward investment of our most precious resource--children.

Democratic Rep. Reuven Carlyle of the 36th Legislative proposed HB 2465 "to repeal the $59 million state tax preference for British Petroleum, Chevron, Tesoro and the other big oil firms in Washington and spend the money on public education. We call it the Accidental Tax Break because it was created in 1949 to support small town timber mills, but big oil now takes 98 percent of the money."

Yes, there are partisan concerns. Nevertheless, caring for members of our youngest generations is something both sides of the aisle can agree. It is time for decisive and unequivocal support for children.

I serve as chair of the Children's Campaign Fund, a nonpartisan political action committee dedicated to electing Washington state legislators who champion issues that affect kids. Children's Campaign Fund urges elected officials to revise our tax exemptions in order raise much need money for schools across the state. And encourages voters to amplify their voice in support of kids.

Carlyle recently said, "Our state has 640 tax exemptions on the books. The revenue package I proposed closes just 1.4 percent of them, and virtually every dollar goes directly into basic K-12 education ...Ultimately, we have to ask ourselves what our priorities are--keeping a handful of outmoded tax exemptions, or providing a world-class, constitutionally protected education for our children."

It is time to find the revenue for education. It is time to give adequate investment for quality childcare, early education and public K-12 education. Let us tell our legislators that educating Washington kids is a priority.

About Rene Murry Rene Murry is a long-time children rights community activist and has served served as chair of Children's Campaign Fund since January 2013. In addition to being a small-business owner, she has worked with the Center for Women and Democracy and YMCA Family Services and Mental Health. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of North Dakota and spent several years working as a children's protective services worker with Orange County DSS, North Carolina.

The Children's Campaign Fund is a Political Action Committee in Washington state. The goal is to raise funds and support legislative candidates who champion and advocate for legislation that benefits children and their families.

Sources include: Rep. Carlyle blog


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