Budget Matters 2016 Program

Thank you to everyone who attended Budget Matters 2016! You can see our morning plenary, "What's at Stake in the 2017-2019 Budget: Funding McCleary and Beyond" online on TVW. And if you attended the conference and would like the handouts from keynote speaker Anat Shenker-Osorio, please request them by emailing bnpinfo(at)budgetandpolicy(dot)org.

Here's how the schedule for #BudgetMatters16, the statewide policy conference of the year, is shaping up! There will also be breaks throughout the day. 


8:30 a.m. Check-in and networking

Light pastries and coffee will be served. (And be sure to stop by our photo booth!)

9 a.m. Welcome & Morning Plenary

Welcome and kick-off 

Plenary: What’s at Stake in the 2017-2019 Budget: Funding McCleary and More

In January, legislators will begin writing the state’s next two-year budget. Panelists will discuss the multi-billion-dollar elephant in the room – school funding per the McCleary mandate – as well as the other investments that must be funded for all Washingtonians to thrive. Moderator: Ann Dornfeld, KUOW. Panelists: Nathan Gibbs-Bowling, Lincoln High School (2016 Washington State Teacher of the year); Lew Moore, Washington Research Council; Roxana Norouzi, OneAmerica; Sen. Christine Rolfes (D-Bainbridge Island).
(The panel will begin with an overview of the state budget by Andy Nicholas from the Budget & Policy Center.)

10:15 a.m. Break

10:30 a.m. Morning Breakout Sessions: 


Raising the Floor: Strategies to Promote High-Quality, Living-Wage Jobs 

Starting with the $15 minimum wage in SeaTac, Washington state has been a national leader on raising wages. Come learn what some of Washington’s innovators think are the next policy solutions to build and sustain a strong middle class. Moderator: Teresa Mosqueda, Washington State Labor Council. Panelists: Dawn Gearhart, Teamsters 117; Nicole Keenan, Fair Work Center; Rep. Mike Sells (D-Everett)

Advancing Bold Solutions to Reduce Poverty 

What would it take to significantly reduce the number of children and families living in poverty in the state of Washington? This discussion will focus on possible strategies to ensure that all Washington residents have the opportunity to thrive. Moderator: Julie L. Watts, Washington State Budget & Policy Center. Panelists: Alex Hur, Statewide Poverty Action Network, Racial Equity Team; Lori Pfingst, Economic Services Administration; Rep. David Sawyer (D-Parkland); Rep. Hans Zeiger (R-Puyallup) 

Cleaning Up Our Tax Code: A Bold Path to Funding Schools and Other Priorities

While lawmakers must generate significant new revenues for schools in 2017, they must also address the root cause of our failure to make progress on our state’s revenue needs: an inadequate, inequitable state tax code. This workshop will focus on proposals to reform that code. Moderator: Kelli Smith, Budget & Policy Center. Panelists: Rita Green, Washington's Paramount Duty, Washington State and Seattle King County NAACP; Andy Nicholas, Budget & Policy Center; Rep. June Robinson (D-Everett)

11:45 a.m. Break

12 p.m. Lunch & Keynote

Budget & Policy Center 10-year-anniversary celebration 

Presentation by Dr. Manuel Pastor: Looking Forward: Racial Equity, Just Growth, and the American Future

1:30 p.m. Break

1:45 p.m. Afternoon Breakout Sessions:

We’re All In for Washington! 

Learn about All In, the new statewide effort to clean up the tax code so all Washington communities can thrive. Panelists will share the magic words (i.e. messaging tips) to help people get excited about raising revenue. They’ll also discuss how revenue impacts issues from education to public health. Moderator: Sumayyah Waheed, Budget & Policy Center, All In for Washington Campaign. Panelists: Dania Nuño Carrillo, OneAmerica; Hodan Hassan, Got Green; Ada Lin, University of Washington Master of Public Health Program

Removing Barriers to Re-entry through Legal Financial Obligations Reform

Too many Washingtonians – particularly men of color – are saddled by the debt of legal financial obligations after prison release. This panel will discuss how creating an economy that works for everyone means addressing systemic inequities and reforming the criminal justice system. Moderator: Kirsten Harris-Talley, Progress Alliance. Panelists: Nick Allen, Columbia Legal Services; jah-Vi’ LeRon Cotten-Cohia, Black Prisoners Caucus; Layne Pavey, I Did the Time 

The Affordable Care Act: How Far We’ve Come, How Far We Have to Go 

Thanks to health care reform, more Washingtonians can see a doctor when they’re sick. Yet there are still health-related challenges to address, like inequitable access to care and root causes of poor health. This panel will reflect on the ACA’s successes and discuss what remains to be done. Moderator: Megan Grover Howell, Budget & Policy Center Board of Directors, Premera. Panelists: Dr. Ben Danielson, Seattle Children’s Odessa Brown Clinic; Tatsuko Go Hollo, Children’s Alliance; Ingrid McDonald, Public Health – Seattle & King County; Sallie Neillie, Project Access Northwest

3 p.m. Break

3:15 p.m. Afternoon keynote 

Presentation by Anat Shenker-Osorio: United We Stand: New Messaging Research to Move People on Economic, Environmental, Education, and Racial Justice

4 p.m. Closing, Call to Action

Sign up nowAnd for additional details about the conference (ticket cost, sponsors, etc.), visit the event webpage
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Testimonies in Olympia

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Watch our 2018 legislative session testimonies on TVW: