Schmudget Blog
State Revenue Forecast Doesn’t Change the Facts: Washington State Needs Equitable New Revenue

State Revenue Forecast Doesn’t Change the Facts: Washington State Needs Equitable New Revenue

Posted by Kelli Smith, 2017-06-20 13:45:00 | (0) Comments
Statement from the Washington State Budget & Policy Center:
 
The updated state revenue forecast, which projects a small increase in the amount of tax resources available to fund schools and other priorities in the coming years, should signal to lawmakers that it’s time to get to work on cleaning up the state’s flawed tax code. Failing to do so would make it impossible for lawmakers to amply fund schools without forcing harmful cuts to health care, higher education, and other investments that promote a strong state economy and thriving communities.
 
Lawmakers in Olympia have until June 30 – just 10 more days – to finalize the state budget before state agencies are forced to begin shutdown procedures. A state government shutdown would put thousands of Washingtonians at risk of losing access to child care, public health resources, and job supports, and it could cause interruptions to business, environmental protection, and utility services. That’s not even to mention the loss of income for state workers during the shutdown. 
 

With the latest revenue forecast, lawmakers now have all the information they need to come to an agreement on a budget that invests in strong communities. The Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council’s final revenue forecast for the fiscal year (which ends on June 30) projects state tax revenues will increase over the next two years by just $80 million (less than 0.2 percent of the current budget) relative to the previous forecast – a mere blip on the state budget radar. 

 State and Federal Proposals to Cut Funding for Women’s Health Would Decrease Family Economic Security

State and Federal Proposals to Cut Funding for Women’s Health Would Decrease Family Economic Security

Posted by Melinda Young-Flynn, 2017-06-19 09:50:00 | (0) Comments
By Misha Werschkul, executive director
 
Building economic security for Washington's women is an essential component of creating a thriving economy in our state. Nearly 500,000 women and more than 20 percent of Black, Hispanic, and Native American women live in poverty in Washington. Many factors contribute to high poverty rates among women, and especially among women of color – including the gender wage gap, a disproportionately high percentage of women working low-wage jobs, and the lack of universal paid leave programs and child care supports. Access to health care– including high-quality pre- and post-natal care – and the ability to choose when and under what circumstances to start a family are also critical ingredients of family economic security.
 

Investments in the wellbeing of women are critical to any serious strategy to address inequality or reduce poverty. And investing in the full spectrum of women’s health services in particular is an important step toward strengthening the economic security of women and families.

New Report: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Critical to the Wellbeing of Many Washingtonians with Disabilities

New Report: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Critical to the Wellbeing of Many Washingtonians with Disabilities

Posted by Julie Watts, 2017-06-14 18:25:00 | (0) Comments
According to a new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – which provides basic food support to people with lower incomes – helps 126,000 Washingtonians with disabilities secure a better quality of life and protect their basic health. The report underscores the key role SNAP plays in lifting people with disabilities out of poverty, helping them put food on the table, and contributing to a wide range of positive long-term health and economic outcomes.

 

KIDS COUNT Report: Washington Continues to See Historic Progress in Kids’ Health Care Access

KIDS COUNT Report: Washington Continues to See Historic Progress in Kids’ Health Care Access

Posted by Jennifer Tran, 2017-06-13 09:25:00 | (0) Comments

The number of Washington state children with health insurance has risen to historic highs, with 39 of every 40 kids in the state now covered by health insurance. Further, disparities in access to health care have been reduced across nearly all racial and ethnic groups. This according to the 2017 KIDS COUNT Data Book released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the KIDS COUNT Data Center. Given this monumental progress toward strengthening the long-term health and well-being of Washington’s kids, our representatives in Washington, D.C. must reject harmful federal policy proposals that would send kids’ health backward.

Guest Post: Kansas Experiment Yields Valuable Lessons in Why State Investments Are Essential

Guest Post: Kansas Experiment Yields Valuable Lessons in Why State Investments Are Essential

Posted by Melinda Young-Flynn, 2017-06-08 11:05:00 | (0) Comments
This week, the Kansas legislature rolled back significant parts of the state’s massive 2012 tax cuts. A two-thirds bipartisan majority voted to reject the “tax-cut your way to prosperity” approach. This was a major repudiation of bad fiscal policies that Congressional Republicans and President Trump are touting as solutions to create economic growth. Heidi Holliday, executive director of the Kansas Center for Economic Growth, wrote this guest post:

You’re welcome, America. 

HIGHLIGHTS

Budget Beat!

We host regular Budget Beat webinars throughout legislative session to bring you updates and breaking news from Olympia and timely policy analysis. Join us on Friday, June 23, for a Budget Beat about federal budget proposals, featuring Louisa Warren of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. And visit our YouTube channel to watch our previous Budget Beats. 

Testimonies in Olympia

To advance our legislative priorities, the Budget & Policy Center team is in the state capitol throughout session testifying on a wide range of bills. Watch our recent testimonies on TVW:
Misha TVW

View Our School Funding Plenary 

Roxana_BMC_plenary_2016View the Budget Matters 2016 conference plenary, "What's at Stake in the 2017-2019 Budget: Funding McCleary and Beyond." Moderated by Ann Dornfeld of KUOW, the plenary features Nathan Gibbs-Bowling, the 2016 Washington State Teacher of the Year; Lew Moore of the Washington Research Council; Roxana Norouzi of OneAmerica; and Sen. Christine Rolfes. The plenary starts after an intro by Executive Director Misha Werschkul and an intro video by Gov. Inslee.