Working for a brighter future
The Washington State Budget & Policy Center is proudly celebrating 15 years of advancing progressive economic policy change in 2021. We couldn’t have gotten here without our partners and friends – and we look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with partner organizations, community leaders, advocates, and lawmakers to build an inclusive and equitable economy. (Support our efforts now.)
We have led or been a part of many successes in our state, including:
- Making historic progress to create a more equitable tax code and ensure the budget includes meaningful community investments:
In 2021, we were part of a broad coalition that successfully advocated for an updated Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC), which will provide a cash rebate to 420,000 households, including those that file taxes with an Individual Tax Identification (ITIN). And 10 years after we first released our capital gains tax proposal, we helped secure the passage of this tax on extraordinary profits to raise more than $400 million per year in new revenue for investments in public schools, child care, and early learning. Both the WFTC and capital gains tax are important moves to help fix our inequitable tax code. In addition, we helped make the case for legislators to pass a 15% increase in WorkFirst/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families monthly cash grants.
- Supporting an equitable recovery from COVID-19:
In 2020, immigrant rights organizations led the successful push for a $60 million investment in the Washington Worker Relief Fund, which gave $1,000 emergency payments to Washingtonians who are undocumented. Legislators took steps to reverse harmful cuts to WorkFirst/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) so more families are able to access this critical lifeline when they fall on hard times. As part of a coalition of progressive revenue advocates, we also helped make the case for passing JumpStart Seattle tax, which would generate $200 million a year in equitable revenue to fund COVID relief.
- Securing important investments in education, affordable housing, and mental health services:
In 2019, legislators enacted new revenue by making the real estate excise tax more progressive, closing outdated tax breaks, and increasing business and occupation tax rates for some large companies. These important tax reforms resulted in almost $1 billion in much-needed investments to strengthen all our communities.
- Ensuring fewer kids go to school hungry:
In 2018, we helped make the case to fund Breakfast after the Bell, a program that provides breakfast to students with low incomes so they can show up to class ready to learn.
- Preventing an unnecessary tax break for big manufacturers:
In 2017, we called for Governor Jay Inslee to veto a corporate giveaway that would have siphoned money out of our communities.
- Increasing wages and providing paid leave for thousands of hardworking people:
In 2016, voters passed an initiative to raise the statewide minimum wage to $13.50 and provide sick and safe leave – so workers can make a better living and protect their well-being and that of their families.
To learn more about our impact, see our coverage in the media and take a look at our 2018-2022 strategic planning framework. This framework lays out the strategies and tactics we’re using to achieve major public policy changes in order to build a better Washington state. And check out “Meeting the moment: Our impact in 2020.”
Learn how you can help us promote our policy priorities.