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Senate Budget Misses Opportunity to Invest in Washington’s Economy

Posted by Melinda Young-Flynn at Feb 24, 2016 07:25 PM |
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Statement from the Washington State Budget & Policy Center:

The supplemental budget proposed by the Washington State Senate takes the wrong approach to meeting the needs of Washingtonians. By offering no new forms revenue and by cutting funding for important state programs, the Senate budget writers don’t offer meaningful solutions to strengthening our state economy.

The budget puts corporations’ needs over the needs of everyday Washingtonians. In particular, it keeps in place wasteful corporate tax breaks that the House wisely recommended cutting in its budget. Instead, the Senate balances its budget by cutting funds from government programs, such as toxic clean-up programs that improve the health of communities throughout the state. It also fails to increase access to high-quality early learning opportunities for kids, per the Early Start Act.

During a time when our Legislature continues to be fined $100,000 a day by the State Supreme Court for failing to take steps to fully fund K-12 education, the Senate’s budget also doesn’t offer any recommendations for investing in schools. 

While it’s worth noting that the Senate budget sensibly refrains from tapping into the Rainy Day Fund to balance its budget, Senate budget writers would nevertheless be wise to implement the common-sense revenue proposals put forward by Gov. Inslee and by their colleagues in the House. Doing so would better set the Legislature up to meet its K-12 funding mandate and to preserve state programs that benefit us all. 

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