Schmudget Blog
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Investment in Washington State Residents And Communities Still Far Below Needs

Posted by Andy Nicholas at Jan 08, 2016 12:30 PM |
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The need for good schools for our children, safe communities for us all, and other programs that help our state thrive continues to grow. Yet Washington state government investment in these priorities remains depressed after years of deep cuts enacted during the Great Recession. Next week, as lawmakers gather in Olympia to convene the 2016 legislative session, legislators should take steps to further increase investments in our state so that we can create a thriving economy in which all Washingtonians have the opportunity to get ahead.

Governor Inslee’s proposed 2016 supplemental budget would modestly increase funding to cover unexpectedly high needs for health care, child care, mental health, and wildfire-fighting services. Even with this, state government spending in the current budget cycle would remain well below pre-recession levels when measured as a share of the economy (see graph below).

2016-Jan_state_investment

This session, legislators should fund Governor Inslee’s proposed improvements to mental health services and salary increases among first-year teachers. And they should take steps to better invest in our state to improve the well-being of all Washingtonians.

Stay tuned to schmudget for further recommendations on what kinds of steps lawmakers should take to strengthen Washington's economy during the 2016 session.


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HIGHLIGHTS

Our Seattle Policy Summit

You can watch our Budget Matters 2017 Seattle Policy Summit, which took place on December 6, online. The first part of the day (watch here) featured Washington State Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib and Race Forward President Glenn Harris. The second part of the day (watch here) featured Budget & Policy Center Senior Policy Analyst Jennifer Tran, and a panel of local leaders moderated by Michael Brown of the Seattle Foundation. 

Our Policy Priorities

Washington state should be a place where all our residents have strong communities, great schools, and the chance for a bright future. Our 2017-2019 Legislative Agenda outlines the priorities we are working to advance to build a better Washington.

Testimonies in Olympia

Misha TVW
We're in Olympia throughout the 2018 legislative session to testify in support of bills that advance our legislative priorities. Watch our testimonies on TVW: