Schmudget Blog
Final Budget: Hits and Misses

Final Budget: Hits and Misses

Posted by Kim Justice, 2015-06-30 23:50:00 | (0) Comments
Graphic updated July 1st
 

After three special sessions and with one day to spare before a government shutdown, lawmakers finally approved a budget today. It increases funding for schools, early learning, worker pay and benefits, mental health services, support for struggling families, and other much-needed services. While it’s certainly laudable that the investments are robust, it’s nevertheless essential to note that lawmakers are relying on inadequate long-term revenue sources to sustain them. In so doing, they are missing a timely opportunity to make our tax system more sturdy and equitable. 

Senate Revenue Plan Won’t Sustain Investments

Senate Revenue Plan Won’t Sustain Investments

Posted by Kim Justice, 2015-06-25 23:45:00 | (0) Comments
By Kim Justice, Senior Budget Analyst, and Andy Nicholas, Senior Fiscal Analyst
 

The Senate released a set of new proposals today that increase investments and add new revenue, but that still fail to provide the resources needed to sustain investments in the long run.

Threats of Shutdown Don’t Have to Become the New Normal

Threats of Shutdown Don’t Have to Become the New Normal

Posted by Kim Justice, 2015-06-23 21:35:00 | (0) Comments
By Kim Justice, Senior Budget Analyst, and Elena Hernandez, Policy Analyst
 

With just one week left for the Washington State Legislature to pass a budget for the next two years, preparations are underway for a full or partial shutdown of state services that would harm tens of thousands of Washingtonians. Today, more than 25,000 employees are receiving furlough notices – just as they did two years ago when our state was in the same situation. Unless lawmakers agree on long-term, sustainable revenue solutions, these kinds of biennial shutdown threats are likely to become the norm. If they have the foresight and vision to take the long view in their budget decision making, though, they can prevent that from happening.

New House Budget Nixes Best Plan for Sustainable, Equitable Revenue

New House Budget Nixes Best Plan for Sustainable, Equitable Revenue

Posted by Kim Justice, 2015-06-22 22:50:00 | (0) Comments
By Kim Justice, Senior Budget Analyst, and Andy Nicholas, Senior Fiscal Analyst
 
Updated June 23rd, with corrected ECEAP slot figures
 

Today the House released its third iteration of a spending plan for the next two years, attempting once again to reach a compromise with the Senate. The plan nixes Washington state's best chance for a sustainable budget and equitable tax system: the capital gains tax.

Help for Struggling Families: A Disappearing Act

Help for Struggling Families: A Disappearing Act

Posted by Elena Hernandez, 2015-06-16 22:25:00 | (0) Comments
By Elena Hernandez, Policy Analyst, and Kim Justice, Senior Budget Analyst
 

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a major pathway to employment for parents struggling financially, helping them to support their families while looking for a stable job. Yet over the past several years, even as the number of Washingtonians living in poverty has increased, the TANF program has been severely weakened. A new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities highlights how the TANF program has fared in all fifty states since 1996, when it replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) benefits. The findings are not pretty. TANF has been continually weakened, which is leading to devastating impacts for kids and families with low incomes.  

HIGHLIGHTS

Our Legislative Agenda

The Budget & Policy Center's 2015-17 Legislative Agenda calls for an equitable and sustainable revenue system in addition to state investments that will promote a world-class education system; sustain a strong, inclusive middle class; produce high-quality, living wage jobs, and ensure equal opportunity to live healthy and productive lives. Take a closer look here.

Testimonies in Olympia

Andy testimonyWe've testified in support of a number of important bills this session. Take a look:

Budget Beat

Join us on July 10 at 1 p.m. as our policy team recaps the 2015 budget and session! Registration details coming soon.

In our April 3 Budget Beat webinar, our research and policy team gave a legislative update from this session. Check out other recent Budget Beats here

Now Hiring: Executive Director

We're looking for a seasoned, visionary, and energetic individual to lead our organization into its second decade. View the job description. And for an update on the Budget & Policy Center's leadership transition process, read this March announcement from our board president.

Budget Matters Conference

Thank you to all those people who made our 3rd Annual Budget Matters Conference a success! Take a look at this video highlighting Budget Matters 2014.