ICYMI: Rep. Mary Dye fights to save fair funding in 2017-19 operating budget

Video: Rep. Mary Dye's floor speech to amendment 364 on Senate Bill 5048 | Amendment effect: Removes a statutory change to the Fair Fund that prevents the State Treasurer from transferring $2 million per fiscal year from General Fund-State to the Fair Fund.

News release: Rep. Mary Dye calls on lawmakers to restore funding for state fairs
Dye expressed her frustration openly after the vote: “Education is a prime focus of the Legislature this session. It's important to remember that not all education comes from a classroom,” said Dye. “Our county fairs give our children the opportunity to learn about long-term responsibility. Our FFA and 4-H children take care of animals until they are old enough to sell at local fairs and marketplaces. Children learn the responsibility early-on about the importance of becoming self-supporting. We should be proud of these opportunities given to our children across the state. These experiences teach them about setting goals, following a project from beginning to end, and being proud of what they've accomplished. We need to stand behind our children and provide the funding to keep our state fairs thriving.”

Radio interview: Rep. Mary Dye discusses why she supports fair funding on Washington Ag Network
Rep. Mary Dye, R-Pomeroy, is on Washington Ag Network with Glenn Vaagen regarding the status of funding for state and county fairs. Rep. Dye shares personal experiences from her youth and participating at local fair, how those experiences impacted her future, and the concern she has if funding isn't continued to ensure similar experiences for those who are involved in fair.

Representative Mary Dye calls on lawmakers to restore funding for WA State fairs
“Fairs are the fabric of our rural communities and an integral piece of our state's history,” according to Representative Mary Dye (R-Pomeroy). “I've seen firsthand the leadership, educational value, and sense of accomplishment fairs provide our children. State fairs not only allow kids to raise money for college, but also teach them how to earn their way in the world.”

Budget uncertainty creates an annual anxiety for fairs | Local Washington legislators are big backers of county fairs and they're irked by the political haggling in Olympia over financial support
Reps. Joe Schmick, R-Colfax, and Mary Dye, R-Pomeroy, echoed Schoesler's sentiments on the importance of fairs in rural areas. They believe participation instills lifelong skills in youngsters and plays a vital role in introducing young people to the state's agricultural industry.

“It really helps build the life cycle of how you earn your way in the world,” Dye said. “The kids get a sense of achievement and accomplishment. They work hard and are rewarded through ribbons, premiums and sales of their livestock. Quality people come out of these programs.”

Schoesler says Dems killed fair funding | Dye amendment goes nowhere; House kills line item
Senator Majority Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, said the majority caucus coalition included $4 million for fairs in its proposed 2017-19 budget, but the line item was zeroed out at the Democrat-led House. An amendment from Rep. Mary Dye, R-Pomeroy, also failed to get any traction in the House as budget negotiations begin.

Operating budget includes state fair funding
Pomeroy Representative Mary Dye spoke about the importance of fairs AND the real-world experience it gives kids in rural Washington …

Mary Dye … “And it is this factor, the fabric of our rural communities. It may seem like a no-big-deal thing for a small appropriation of $4-million dollars, but it is the way we acculturate our children into that sense of personal responsibility, a long-term commitment to an animal, and then to give that up in a market sale and learn the responsibility that they're earning their way in this world.”

Funds for fairs not included in Washington House budget
“Like the Puyallup Fair, the Spokane Fair, the Clark County Fair, the Yakima Fair, these are big events. They are good for tourism. They are good for a lot of things, beside the fact that they are part of community.”

Dye added this will also hurt students who participate in 4-H and FFA around the state that use the local fair as a way to make money with their livestock, art projects and much more. Dye noted with the time left in the Washington legislative session, she will work to negotiate fair funds back into the budget.

Lawmakers wrangle for county fair funding
State Rep. Mary Dye, R-Pomeroy, told the Lewiston Tribune she is frustrated, but still hopes the state finds a way to keep the annual county fairs in business.

“We need to stand behind our children and provide the funding to keep our state fairs thriving,” said Dye, as quoted by the Tribune.


Washington State House Republican Communications