Washingtonians from across the 9th Legislative District picked up their phones Thursday night to participate in a town hall meeting.
State Rep. Susan Fagan, R-Pullman, answered numerous questions from constituents ranging from education budgets to gun control legislative issues in Wash.
With legislative session in its second week, Fagan opened up the community call discussing a fresh start in Olympia, including issues such as education budgets, gun control and school security.
Fagan and her colleagues have been working hard in the first few weeks of the session with a new administration, she said.
“I have to say, it’s been a mad rush to get to all the committee meetings and make sure we are meeting with all the constituents that have come a long way from the 9th District,” Fagan said.
A woman living in Clarkston asked the first question of the night about the education budget.
Fagan acknowledged the state of Washington needs to focus on forming a plan to fund an appropriate amount of money toward education.
“Certainly, much of what we’re talking about is being dictated by the (state) Supreme Court decision about a year ago that said according to our constitution, we’re not adequately funding basic education,” Fagan said.
The Supreme Court has given state lawmakers until 2018 to get basic education funded, which Fagan is confident about achieving.
Fund Education First, a proposal introduced by House Republicans, calls for priority funding toward education before any other state programs or operations.
“We got support across the aisle, both Republicans and Democrats,” Fagan said.
A second live poll revealed that 28 percent of town hall participants don’t support Fund Education First, 31 percent weren’t sure and 41 percent supported it.
A school teacher from Pasco asked whether there was going to be any action against providing school security in elementary schools.
“I’ll fight to the death to protect my class, but should I have to?” the Pasco elementary school teacher said.
Fagan affirmed the need to restructure elementary school education.
“Some schools were built without the thought of security in mind so that process is going to take some time,” Fagan said.
Other topics discussed included gun control, balancing state budget and the abuse of public records requests.