|3 days left: Senate budget no reason for teachers to strikeSen. John Braun, R-Centralia notes that the end of the 2015 regular legislative session is fast approaching. Braun continues the countdown, highlighting the need to complete budget negotiations by April 26 and offered this statement:
“The Senate’s no new taxes budget puts kids first. It represents a fundamental shift in prioritizing state spending. The Seattle Times Editorial Board notes the Legislature’s focus on education is cause for celebration, instead of striking, calling our commitment to funding education ‘a massive, meaningful investment.’
Here are the facts:
- $2.7 billion biennial increase from $15.3 billion to $18 billion
- $1.3 billion toward meeting McCleary obligations
- This includes $740 million for Maintenance, supplies, and operating costs, $350 million for K-3 class size reduction, and $190 million for all day kindergarten
- $230 million for K-12 salary increases
- $210 million to pay for higher state pension costs, primarily due to longer employee life spans
- Remainder is funding increases for higher enrollment, inflation, and increased costs for items such as levy equalization
- 8% increase in state appropriations versus under 6% growth for non-education portions of state budget; the largest percentage growth for K-12 in 25 years
- K-12 will comprise over 47% of the state budget, which is the highest share in over 30 years
The Senate budget is no reason to strike when you look at the facts of how it prioritizes education spending.
There are only 3 days left in the 2015 legislative session and House Democrats are calling it quits before we meet our statutory deadline on April 26. They have failed to bring their proposed tax increases to a vote for their budget proposal that won’t balance without the increase of $1.5 billion in new taxes.
This is unfortunate because delaying a budget means significant hardships for schools, teachers and students across the state. We continue to wait for the House to come to the negotiating table with a complete budget, not just a wish list. No special session will fix that issue but it is necessary so that we can negotiate in good faith and do the job that the people of Washington expect.
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your state senator.
20th District Senator