NAFUSA Foundation President Mike McKay (WD of Washington 1989-1993), shown left, and William Hyslop (ED of Washington 1991-1993, and president-elect of the Washington State Bar Association), shown right, have joined the effort in Washington to try to convince the state senate to reconsider its announced budget cuts for the state courts.
In an OpEd in The Seattle Times on April 28, 2015, entitled Budget cuts threaten justice, McKay says,
Though Washington ranks dead last among the 50 states in the percentage of state funding for the courts — our judicial branch receives just two-fifths of 1 percent of the state budget — the state Senate is now proposing even deeper cuts in the funding of our court system.
Hyslop’s OpEd was published in The Spokesman-Review on April 26,2105. In Further court cuts jeopardize system, Hyslop argues,
Lawmakers must balance the budget and provide for many, many services to Washingtonians. As part of that balance, a fair and functioning judicial system is not a luxury. It is a basic tenet of American governance, a right of the people. It protects us from the abuses of all kinds of power and helps the rest of government and society to function.
Continuing to cut court budgets in this manner harms everyone.
In a follow up interview, McKay stated:
These cuts are grossly disproportionate to those made for the rest of state government. The state supreme court recently ordered the legislature to increase its appropriations to public schools, ruling that the decades-long practice of allocating fewer and fewer dollars for public schools has violated our state constitution. It has been speculated by some that these draconian cuts are calculated to punish the state supreme court for enforcing the constitution.