Inslee's Budget Beyond K-12
Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposed K-12 budget made headlines because it would put nearly $4 billion in new state funding into our state’s public schools.
However, Inslee’s overall budget does not provide enough new state funding to offset the college tuition freeze he proposes. This amounts to a budget cut, because the additional money is not enough to cover rising costs, including funding for college faculty and staff salaries that are currently paid for out of tuition funds.
Inslee’s budget also includes investments in other programs that matter to WEA members and students:
- Enhancements in mental health services early learning and other programs that support students and families in need.
- An increase in the state need grant, which helps colleges students pay tuition.
- Pay raises for state employees, as required by the collective bargaining agreements their unions negotiated in good faith with Inslee’s office.
Revenue a Key Part of Inslee’s Budget Plan
Gov. Inslee’s K-12 budget proposes much-needed new revenue, including:
- Capital gains tax
- Closing loopholes
- A carbon tax on polluters
- An increase in the tax on services
Legislative Committee Assignments
Teacher and WEA member Monica Stonier has been appointed as vice-chair of the House Education Committee. Stonier, who was elected in November and will represent the 49th Legislative District in Vancouver, previously served one term in the Legislature. A Democrat, she will be one of only a few practicing teachers in the Legislature (out of 147 legislators).
Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos of Seattle will continue to serve as chair of the House Education Committee. Rep. Timm Ormsby of Spokane is the chair of the budget-writing House Appropriations Committee.
In the Senate, Republican Sen. Hans Zeiger of Puyallup is the new chair of the Senate education committee. He replaces Sen. Steve Litzow, who lost his re-election in November. Sen. John Braun of Centralia is the new chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, which writes the Senate’s state budget proposal. He replaces the late Sen. Andy Hill.