Policy Areas

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. Especially during this time of historic economic crisis, a balanced approach to the budget deficit that includes reduced spending and revenue increases is crucial to setting the stage for economic recovery in the state.

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. The share of people unable to find work remains historically high.  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 is different now, requiring 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 their families moving forward.

 

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HIGHLIGHTS

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Our Legislative Agenda

During the 2016 legislative session, the Budget & Policy Center continues to promote several of the common-sense policy ideas we developed for the 2015-2017 bienniumOur Legislative Agenda 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. 

Budget Beat 

Listen to our Budget Beat about the I-1366 court decision. It features Senator David Frockt (D-46) and Pacifica Law Group Partner Kymberly Evanson. 

Budget Matters Summit 

Thank you to all who attended our our Budget Matters 2015 policy summit. If you missed it (or would like to relive it), you can watch a highlight video of the summit or watch the full summit panel -- which featured a range of community leaders talking about how to advance racial equity in state policymaking.