Democracy works best with an informed public

Editor,

Washingtonians understandably take pride in our state’s tradition of transparency in public affairs. However, this transparency is becoming increasingly murky. An example is recent action in the state Senate: dropping the 120-page education funding bill on a Saturday and holding an unpublicized hearing the next Monday, virtually eliminating the possibility of public input. The Senate Ways and Means Committee did this by waiving the rule that requires five-day public notice of a hearing.

This is not the first such incident. Last session’s charter school bill reached the floor in what is known as a “title only” bill – with no text and no time for public testimony.

There is no question that our state is facing a crisis in education. For years, the legislature has failed to provide adequate funding for its paramount duty: providing basic education for our children. This crisis requires thoughtful consideration and cooperation, not political gamesmanship.

Democracy works best when an informed public can influence public issues affecting them. Confidence of voters erodes when input of the public is ignored/pushed aside.

The League of Women Voters strongly believes that public input is a requirement for good government and urges our elected leaders to provide adequate notice to voters.

BARBARA SEITLE

League of Women Voters of Whidbey Island, co-president

More in Letters to the Editor

Use 2018 to vote in candidates who care

Editor, If you had any doubt about Donald J. Trump’s immigration agenda,… Continue reading

Taking CERT training can be empowering

Editor, I’m writing to offer public kudos to our South Whidbey Fire/EMS… Continue reading

Not many Norwegians likely to move here

Editor, President Donald Trump asks, in referring to immigrants from Africa, why… Continue reading

Where are all the bomb shelters on the island?

Editor, After hearing about the accidental emergency message sent out Saturday to… Continue reading

Plan to launch new series with Goosefoot grant

Editor, We were pleased to see the recognition of Goosefoot Community Foundation… Continue reading

Photo may have cause misunderstanding for readers

Editor, Your Jan. 6 edition included a headline that read, “County commissioner… Continue reading

We must change culture in order to save planet

Editor, Reciprocity is the key to survival. Reciprocity is the essence of… Continue reading

Interdepartmental jousting is the snake

Editor, This nastiness emanating from the other Washington must be contagious since… Continue reading

Secular law says woman has the right to choose

Editor, As I have since come to understand the dynamic, life begins… Continue reading

Most Read