Policy Areas

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The Washington State Budget & Policy Center publishes research and analysis on state budget issues with a focus on improving the lives of low- and moderate-income Washingtonians.

State Budget: 

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Washington state faces budget challenges that threaten our ability to maintain public priorities like educating our children, ensuring communities are safe, providing health care for the uninsured, and protecting the environment. These problems are not new, nor will they go away without addressing the fundamental flaws in our revenue system. 

State Revenue:

Property Tax imageThe recent economic recession has taken a significant toll on the state's ability to maintain important investments in education, health, communities and the environment. But even in good times, state revenue, which comes largely from retail sales and Business & Occupancy taxes, does not keep pace with the need. The Budget & Policy Center publishes research and analysis on improving the state’s revenue system to raise adequate revenue and create a more equitable tax structure.

Jobs & the Economy:

Worker (gif)Washington state continues to recover from the economic downturn, but both the quantity and quality of jobs remain cause for concern. In addition, there has been a substantial increase in the number of people working part-time due to a lack of job opportunities, and the majority of jobs in Washington state skew toward lower wages.

Our economy requires new skills to keep workers competitive in a global job market.  In the fast-paced, ever changing 21st century economy, we can’t afford to leave anyone behind.  Future prosperity depends on how well Washington state embraces change and develops policies that support workers and keeps their families moving forward.

 

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HIGHLIGHTS

Watch the Budget Matters Plenary 

View the Budget Matters 2016 conference plenary panel, "What's at Stake in the 2017-2019 Budget: Funding McCleary and Beyond," on TVW. Moderated by Ann Dornfeld of KUOW with a budget overview by our own Andy Nicholas, the panel 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 a brief intro by Executive Director Misha Werschkul and an intro video by Gov. Inslee.

Our Legislative Agenda

Our agenda for the 2015-2017 biennium calls for an equitable, sustainable revenue system in addition to state investments that: promote a world-class education system; sustain a strong middle class; produce living-wage jobs, and ensure that all Washingtonians have equal opportunity to get ahead. 

Testimonies in Olympia

We testified in support of a number of important bills during the 2016 legislative session. Take a look:

  • Our testimony (at the 23:23 minute mark) on the House Bill that would take a two-generation approach to preventing poverty 
  • Our testimony (at the 1:54:09 mark) on the House bill focused on aerospace-related tax breaks
  • Our House testimony (at the 9:25 mark) and Senate testimony (at the 1:44:54 mark) on the two-generation approach to poverty prevention bill 

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