With lawmakers set to begin special session on April 29th, they must set their sights on reaching a compromise on the budget without compromising the things that Washingtonians value – like high-quality education, good jobs, economic opportunities, and a clean environment. Our state has cut investments in these areas for far too long – which has resulted in significant stalling in many key measures of progress.
Investing in the values that are critical to the well-being of all Washingtonians is the key to ensuring that our state can get back on track. It can help us make progress individually and collectively.
The big question facing budget negotiators is how to make and sustain needed investments in our shared values. The answer? It will require additional revenue sources. Raising new revenue – through proposals such as taxing capital gains and closing tax breaks – will ensure that we can sustain our investments in essential public services while also making our tax system more equitable.
Responsible budgeting requires that lawmakers take a more expansive, big-picture view of state investments. They have the opportunity to lay the groundwork for our state and its residents to thrive for years to come. If our elected officials fail to take the long view, Washingtonians are likely to continue falling behind in key measures of progress.