Opinion

Applauding 41st District legislators

The first time Brian Weinstein heard Reps. Judy Clibborn and Fred Jarrett speak was last year at a Chamber of Commerce lunch. Weinstein joined the two Mercer Island state legislators last month at another Chamber lunch, but this time as a freshman senator.

It is a good sign in these times of polarized politics that two Democrats, Clibborn and Weinstein, and a moderate Republican, Jarrett, can work together to advance legislation and accomplish things that benefit the 41st District and the state. Their cooperation was obvious at the luncheon as each addressed subjects important to the district: education, transportation and health care.

Health care is a difficult issue to address, but Clibborn, a former nurse, sponsored a bill to provide health coverage to all children in the state by 2010.

Jarrett, lead Republican on the House Capital Budget Committee, helped craft a budget that included funding for K-12 and higher education construction.

Weinstein, vice-chair of the Senate education committee, sponsored a bill to appoint a committee to study what obligation the state has to fully fund public education, a subject important to almost every parent. That committee was appointed by the governor recently.

Weinstein was also able to address concerns regarding the controversial conversion of Interstate 90 for high capacity transit. Any funding of changes to the I-90 center roadway will now be contingent upon the development of an access plan that provides equitable and dependable access for I-90 Mercer Island exit and re-entry.

Mercer Island legislators also supported increasing the gas tax, which will be used to fund much-needed projects in the state and region. There would not have been a transportation package without Jarrett and Weinstein, Clibborn said.

Let's applaud these three legislators from Mercer Island, who are successfully addressing the major concerns of their district.

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