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Eyman has one thing right: lower sales tax

Commentary | November 18, 2015 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

A good public budget plans for today's priorities, for future needs, and for the unexpected -- and taxes allow a community to pay for the public goods and services for which it has planned. The latest Eyman Initiative, I-1366 (which just squeaked by with a 51% yes vote) could threaten all of that -- but only if we let it.

Senate bills look to fairly adjust Social Security for seniors

Commentary | November 5, 2015 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

Two-thirds of all seniors rely on Social Security for the majority of their income. But there won't be a cost-of-living adjustment in their Social Security checks next year, even though data show their costs are rising. There's a fix ready to go -- will Congress act in time to implement it?

Commentary | October 21, 2015 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

Make voter registration automatic

Commentary | October 8, 2015 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

We complain a lot about our elections and the various candidates for office. Then we complain about lack of voter turnout in elections. Then we complain about people not registering to vote. We may not be able to immediately fix the first and second complaints, but we could get everyone registered to vote.

We agree on school funding; we can agree on how to do it

Commentary | September 28, 2015 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

Ensuring every child has equal access to the ladder of opportunity, from pre-school through higher education, is the most important work of our state government. And if our elected leaders aren't up to that task, then it falls to us, the voters, to make sure it happens.

Burbank: Public school funding will pay off in the end

Commentary | September 22, 2015 | By John Burbank | Sequim Gazette

Do small classes only make sense for elementary kids? Perhaps we can take a lesson from the private school where the elite send their kids — Lakeside School in Seattle. The average class size for this middle school and high school: 16. Average class size in our public high schools: 30. Here is a lesson: If you want to neglect students, increase drop-outs and have high school be the final stop in education, then increase class size.

A new school year; same old funding woes

Commentary | September 9, 2015 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

The legislature says it supports K-12 education. But as citizens, and for the sake of our kids and our future, we should say: “Show me the money.”

State income tax would fix school funding and much more

Commentary | August 26, 2015 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

Legislative leaders think they can just muddle through and do a minimal amount to meet the paramount duty for the education of all children. They want to manage the fiscal crisis. We need to vanquish it.

How to truly commemorate Women’s Equality Day

Commentary | August 25, 2015 | By Marilyn Watkins | South Seattle Emerald

Winning the right to vote was a landmark achievement, but it was never the only goal of women activists and their male allies. And we aren’t going to get the rest of the way to equality by politely waiting around for a convenient time when it won’t interfere with corporate profits or the priorities of male leaders.

Time to get it straight on fully funding education

Commentary | August 24, 2015 | By John Burbank | Sequim Gazette

It didn’t take long before the Legislature stopped its crowing about how it funded K-12 education and admitted that it was far from the mandates of the State Supreme Court for basic education. How is that? It starts with Stephanie and Matthew McCleary, parents of two public school kids on the Olympic Peninsula.

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