Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Governor Gregoire released her final budget today

After eight years, three biennial budgets, many supplemental and "special" budget bills, Governor Gregoire sent her final budget proposal to the Legislature this morning.  According to her press release, she addressed the looming McCleary decision this way:

A $1 billion down payment in 2013-15 -- a 12.3% increase over the current K-12 budget.  That funding would:
  • Reduce class sizes in grades K-2
  • Step-up the phase-in of full-day kindergarten programs across the state
  • Improve professional development for teachers and principals
  • Increase funding for maintenance, suupplies, and operating costs
  • Fully-fund the state's new pupil transportation funding formula
House Appropriations Committee Chair, Ross Hunter, issued this statement in response to the governor's proposal:

“I’d like to thank Governor Gregoire for the thoughtful work she’s put into this budget. Her proposal exposes the basic structural problems that will make it difficult to build an operating budget that meets the needs of Washington’s citizens and business community without changing the revenue picture.

“It also points out the big issues the Legislature will have to address this year: Medicaid expansion, educational requirements coming from the McCleary decision, and the impact of the recession on the state’s revenue picture. We have a lot of work to do to resolve these issues and create a stable platform for continued economic growth.”

Read this story in Spanish here.