Snohomish County voters should re-elect the Mukilteo Democrat to another term representing the 21st Legislative District.

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State Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self has firsthand experience addressing the needs of public-school students, particularly when it comes to their mental health. Snohomish County voters should re-elect the Mukilteo Democrat to another term representing the 21st Legislative District.

As a counselor for Everett Public Schools, Ortiz-Self’s insights from the ground can aid the Legislature as it continues to implement a new system of paying for schools.

She says she is focused on ensuring all students get a quality education, no matter what district they live in. But with that goal in mind, Ortiz-Self should rethink her willingness to lift restrictions on how much money school districts can raise through local property-tax levies. Allowing higher local taxes could exacerbate inequities between wealthy and poor districts, while reducing pressure on the Legislature to keep up with its obligation to fully fund schools.

Ortiz-Self agrees with her Republican opponent, Petra Bigea, that the way Sound Transit calculates car-tab fees was misleading to voters. But unlike Bigea, she doesn’t favor halting progress on the voter-approved transit package — which is slated to bring light rail to Everett — or sending the package back to voters. Rather, Ortiz-Self prefers a more modest solution that would ensure people pay car-tab fees that better align with the retail value of their cars.

Ortiz-Self made a poor choice earlier this year when she voted to exempt legislators from the state’s Public Records Act. She should research how many of her concerns about protecting constituent privacy are already addressed in the state’s government-transparency laws.

Yet her opponent, Bigea, lacks a firm grasp of many state issues and could use more experience.

Voters in Lynnwood, Everett, Mukilteo and Edmonds should re-elect Ortiz-Self.