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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GiveBIG is May 3

Seattle's annual giving event is right around the corner. And for the first time this year, a group of our board members is giving a $4,000 challenge grant to inspire even more people to make a gift to the Budget & Policy Center! You can schedule your gift for #GiveBIG now. A gift to us is an investment in the progress and prosperity of Washington state.

Our Legislative Agenda

During the 2016 legislative session, the Budget & Policy Center promoted 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 offering highlights of the 2016 legislative session! 

Testimonies in Olympia

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

  • Policy Analyst Elena Hernandez's testimony (at the 23:23 minute mark) on the House Bill that would take a two-generation approach to preventing poverty 
  • Associate Director of Fiscal Policy Andy Nicholas's testimony (at the 1:54:09 mark) on the House bill focused on aerospace-related tax breaks
  • Research and Policy Director Lori Pfingst's 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 

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.