Schmudget Blog
— filed under:

Governor’s Budget proposal for 2011-13: Out of sync with Washington state values

Posted by Kim Justice at Dec 15, 2010 07:10 PM |
Filed under:

The proposed budget Governor Gregoire released today would be another giant step away from our values as Washingtonians.

In order to address a $4.6 billion shortfall in maintaining current services for the 2011-2013 biennium, the Governor is proposing to eliminate 80 programs and services. Her proposal would eviscerate our investments in education along with essential supports and services for our state’s most vulnerable populations – including the elderly, people with disabilities, and children from poor families.

The major reductions included in the Governor’s budget proposal impact widely shared values: education and opportunity, healthy people and environment, thriving communities and economic security.

Education and Opportunity:

•    Tuition increases of 9-11 percent for our state’s colleges

•    Elimination of 1,324 slots for 3 year-olds in the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP)

•    A $2.2 billion cut to K-12 which includes suspension of teacher salary increases under Initiative 732 and suspension of the Student Achievement Program under Initiative 728, which provides smaller class sizes, extended learning time for students and professional development for teachers

Healthy People and Environment:

•    Elimination of health benefits for 27,000 children

•    Elimination of the Basic Health Plan, which provides coverage for 66,000 low-income adults, most of whom are working

•    Elimination of Disability Lifeline medical which provides health coverage for 21,000 low-income adults each year who are unable to work due to a disability

Thriving Communities:

•    Closure of Maple Lane School in Rochester, a maximum/medium security facility for juveniles

•    Elimination of the state Arts Commission

•    Elimination of state general fund dollars for State Parks. Operation and maintenance of parks will be dependent upon user fees

Economic Security:

•    Elimination of the State Food Assistance Program which provides food benefits for low-income legal immigrants

•    Elimination of cash grants for Disability Lifeline recipients who cannot work due to a disability but do not meet the disability standard for federal Social Security Insurance

•    Reduction in the number of hours of care for 45,000 seniors and clients with disabilities who receive in-home care

It is important to note that all of these important priorities have already weathered cuts totaling more than $5 billion in the current biennium.  As we outlined in September, those cuts have already meant a big step backwards from supporting the values we share as Washingtonians.

Further, on Friday the Governor will release a proposed supplemental budget for the current biennium, which will very likely include even deeper cuts to our core values.

The Governor’s budget proposals do not have to become reality, however.  In the coming months, it is critical that lawmakers take a balanced approach to the ongoing economic crisis and consider sensible revenue options in order to prevent unacceptably deep cuts in our core public systems.

Take note, on Friday schmudget will feature an overview of the Governor’s proposed supplemental budget for the current 2009-11 biennium.

 

Document Actions
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 

10-year design element 72 dpi