Schmudget Blog
— filed under: ,

Passed Senate Budget: Worst Budget For Vulnerable People

Posted by Kim Justice at Mar 07, 2012 07:50 PM |

With just one day left in the regular legislative session, policymakers are mulling over three budget proposals. Of all three, the budget that passed off the Senate floor late last week cuts the most from public education, health, and economic security.

Supporters of this budget claim that it protects the most vulnerable.(1) Not so—unless you don’t consider people who have a disability to be vulnerable. Or people who are homeless. Or children at risk of entering the foster care system. 

The facts are clear: The budget  proposal that passed off the Senate floor cuts the most from vulnerable populations: over three times more than the Senate Chair’s budget, and over twice the amount in the House budget (see graph below).(2)

           Senate R vulnerable2

Under the Senate budget that passed off the floor:

  • Over 15,000 people who cannot work due to a disability would lose their medical care.
  • 4,000 low-income working parents would lose child care support.
  • 2,000 families would lose work supports, child care and income assistance through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.
  • Funding to support financial assistance and asset building for people with low incomes would be eliminated.
  • 12,000 low-income legal immigrants would lose food assistance.

For more detail on cuts, see table below.

There are better ways to balance a budget than placing the burden on our most vulnerable populations. Strong social support systems ensure all people can meet basic needs in times of hardship. These investments  help people improve their lives and help our economy recover.

As we’ve said before, there is a better path forward. Reform of our revenue system is the single most important factor in building a sustainable state budget. Smart, systemic change to our revenue structure can be accomplished through a new tax on capital gains, by strengthening our Rainy Day Fund, reducing taxes for lower and middle income families through the Working Families Tax Rebate, and bringing tax breaks in-line with the rest of the budget by requiring regular re-authorization and measurement. 

cuts table 3 budgets

1.    2012 Budget Tidbit #2- Bipartisan Senate Budget, Sen. Joe Zarelli.

2.    The House and Senate have both passed budgets out of their respective chambers. The budget proposal released by the Chair of Senate Ways and Means remains in committee.

 

Document Actions
HIGHLIGHTS

We're Hiring!

We are looking for an experienced Deputy Director to manage the internal operations of our team of policy analysts and communications and outreach experts. Our ideal candidate will have research and analysis experience as well as a commitment to team-building and staff development. Priority review will be given to candidates who apply by May 30. Find out more.

You're Invited

Join us and Partners for Our Children for "Forum on Poverty: The Impact on Children and Families" on May 26, 12-4 pm, in Burien. Our policy analyst Elena Hernandez will be a speaker at this forum that will discuss how we can advance policies that prevent intergenerational poverty. THIS EVENT IS FULL, but you can email Partners for Our Children to get on the waitlist. 

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:

  • 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.