Widely shared prosperity does not happen by accident. It happens when we deliberately invest in the foundations of a strong economy—broad and equal opportunity to build knowledge and skills, adequate compensation and support for workers, and targeted investments in conditions that foster economic growth.
Washington state’s investments should:
- Provide opportunity for all. Opportunities that most Washingtonians need to prosper—access to high-quality education, health care, transportation, clean environment, and work supports—are cost-effective and improve long-term outcomes for families, communities, and the economy.
- Create better jobs. A thriving middle class is dependent on having enough jobs that allow Washingtonians to get ahead, and policies that reward workers for their productivity. In addition, jobs that maintain our physical infrastructure (construction and maintenance on schools, roads, bridges, transportation) and build knowledge and skills (teachers, job trainers, social workers) strengthen the foundation of a strong economy.
When more people have a chance to reach their full potential and enough economic security to make investments in their future, our economy will grow.
- As policymakers in Olympia look for ways to fill a $1 billion gap between the revenue the state is taking in and how much it needs to fund services that residents rely on, one alternative under consideration is “securitized” borrowing. Because such a plan would require a long-term commitment of future revenues lawmakers should also look to enact short- and long-term revenue reforms at the same time...
- Few of us have escaped the pain of the Great Recession, but the downturn has had an especially severe impact on women in our state. Of the $10 billion in state spending cuts already made, 93 percent have targeted education, health, and human services – areas that disproportionally employ and serve women. This is taking a major toll on the economic well-being, health, and safety of women and their families.
- State budget cuts have taken an enormous toll on Washington state’s core public health, education, and community safety structures. Basic public services have been cut by at least $10 billion since the start of the Great Recession. These budget cuts have taken a grizzly toll on the health and well-being of workers and families from Aberdeen to Spokane.
- Washington’s ability to create jobs and build a strong economy is closely linked to providing quality education and making it widely available. But progress is jeopardized by potential options that lawmakers will consider when they meet in special session to respond to the ongoing revenue crisis.