Court orders sanctions of $100K a day against Washington - KPTV - FOX 12

Court orders sanctions of $100K a day against Washington

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The Washington state Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the state pay $100,000 a day in sanctions, starting immediately, for its lack of progress toward fully paying the cost of basic education.

The court encouraged Gov. Jay Inslee to call a special legislative session to address the issue, saying that if the Legislature complies with the court's previous rulings for the state to deliver a plan to fully fund education that the penalties accrued during a special session would be refunded.

While the court acknowledged that progress was made by lawmakers during this year's triple overtime legislative session, the state failed to provide a plan for full compliance by the 2018 deadline.

"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 order, signed by all nine of the court's justices, reads. "The state urges the court to hold off on imposing sanctions, to wait and see if the State achieves full compliance by the 2018 deadline. But time is simply too short for the court to be assured that, without the impetus of sanctions, the State will timely meet its constitutional obligations."

In a written statement, Gov. Inslee said he will talk with the attorney general, legislative leaders and other to analyze the order. He did not say if he would call a special session of the legislature, as the Supreme Court encouraged him to do in the order.

The ruling is the latest development in a long-running impasse between lawmakers and justices, who in 2012 ruled in a lawsuit that the state is failing to meet its constitutional duty to pay for the cost of basic education for its 1 million schoolchildren.

Plaintiff's attorney Thomas Ahearne said that the court's action "is long overdue."

Reporting by By RACHEL LA CORTE of the Associated Press

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

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