Schmudget Blog
— filed under:

Governor's Budget: A Reality-Based Proposal

Posted by Kim Justice at Dec 18, 2012 09:25 PM |
Filed under:

The budget released this morning by Governor Gregoire acknowledges that it takes new resources to grow our economy and comply with our court-ordered mandate to fund basic education. This balanced approach puts us on a sustainable path towards creating jobs and prosperity for all Washingtonians. Without revenue, policymakers will be faced with making new job-threatening deep cuts to all other areas of state investments. 

The Governor’s proposal addresses a $900 million gap between our current needs and resources, and invests $1 billion in basic education. As the graph illustrates, the budget includes a mix of savings, reductions, transfers, and new taxes.  A few highlights include:

  • Repeal of tax breaks: $131 million in new revenue from the repeal of sales tax breaks on purchases of candy and gum, and eliminating a tax break on fuel used by oil refineries and lumber mills.
  • Extension of current taxes: $636 million in revenue from the extension of surtaxes on beer companies and service-industry businesses that were enacted in 2010.
  • New taxes: $424 million in resources from new taxes on soda and fuel sold at wholesale from oil refineries and distributors.
  • Health care savings: $140 million in savings from the expansion of Medicaid, which will provide over 250,000 more people with health coverage.
  • Suspension of previously-enacted policies: $384 million in cuts from the suspension of previously-enacted policies, including Initiative 732, which provides salary increases for teachers.

Governor pie 2013-15

As required by law, the Governor also put out a budget with no new revenue. The “Book One” budget is a stark example of how to fail at meeting Washington state’s needs by refusing to include revenue. If adopted, this budget would keep our state mired in a recession. It is clear that a budget without revenue is unsustainable and it is dangerous to our economy and our future. Under this scenario, the state would:

  • Eliminate food assistance for over 11,000 people.
  • Eliminate assistance for over 1,000 people who care for family members with developmental disabilities.
  • Cut over $50 million from our public universities and colleges, leading to further tuition increases.

We are just a few short weeks away from the beginning of the legislative session and the inauguration of Governor-elect Inslee. Legislators and the new governor should follow Governor Gregoire’s example and make sure that new resources are an ingredient in future budget proposals.  

Document Actions

Watch the Poverty Forum Video

If you missed the half-day Poverty Forum that we co-hosted with Partners for Our Children in May 2016, you can watch it on YouTube now. It features a range of speakers and panelists talking about policy solutions for addressing income inequality and poverty in our state.

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