Greetings Friends and Neighbors,
The 2015 legislative session began Monday. Considerable work will go into building a sustainable budget that prioritizes education. I believe that we can do this without significantly altering our state’s tax structure as Governor Inslee is proposing. Raising taxes should be a last resort.
The state is projected to have $3 billion more for the 2015-17 budget than we did in the 2013-15 budget. My colleague and the Senate’s lead budget writer, Sen. Andy Hill, recently published a policy piece called Windows into the Budget that gives a realistic insight into our state’s budget situation. Please click here to read this brief newsletter. You can also see a highlight below.
It is an honor to serve as your state senator.
20th District Senator
2015 Budget Preview: The Deficit Myth
By: Sen. Andy Hill
There is a myth, propagated by the Governor and others, that Washington faces a massive budget deficit, meaning that the state has insufficient revenues to continue existing services.
This myth began in the summer with a Governor – initiated exercise asking agencies to propose 15% budget cuts, continued in the fall with a presentation around the state by the Governor’s budget director, and was repeated during the Governor’s December budget release.
This deficit assertion is meant to mislead, directing people to the erroneous conclusion that Washington has insufficient revenues to continue its current service levels and that significant cuts (see the Governor’s 15% reduction exercise) or tax increases (see the Governor’s actual budget) are needed.
Let’s look at the facts, rather than misleading hyperbole:
Washington can afford to continue all existing services, including increased caseloads and related costs, plus fund required enhancements that emerged since enactment of the previous budget…
Please click here to read the rest of Windows into the Budget