It isn’t very surprising. Today the Washington State Supreme Court issued a unanimous order finding that the Washington legislature has failed in it duty to fund basic education. The Court has ordered them to pay $100,000 a day as sanctions:
Despite repeated opportunities to comply with the court’s order to provide an implementation plan, the State has not shown how it will achieve full funding of all elements of basic education by 2018.
The only catch is that “the fines will be held in an account to help pay for basic education until the contempt order is lifted.” So, really, this is a pretty toothless order that will cause some hand-wringing along with another special session. Essentially, the Supreme Court has issued a third “shot across the bow.”
It’s too bad because it gives the legislature additional opportunity to fail. (And we all know WHY they are failing.)
The Court should just end this: find individual legislators in contempt of court and give them a date, like October 1, to show up to serve a jail sentence that would continue through January 10th (the day before the start of the new session). Unless, of course, they come up with a solid plan before October 1.