Wednesday, April 10, 2013

House doubles up on education

House Democrats unveiled a state budget that funds education without shredding the safety net for
kids, seniors, the blind, and disabled – and without resorting to accounting tricks or one-time spending.


The budget set the high-water mark for education spending, adding $1.3 billion over predicted spending on public schools. If you compared total education spending to the current budget, the House proposal spends $1.9 billion more than the status quo.

Gov. Jay Inslee proposed putting $1.2 billion more toward education, while Senate Republican budget writers put forth a budget that adds only $760 million to meet our McCleary obligations.

The House proposal also:
  • Invests in early learning
  • Reduces class sizes in K-3
  • Puts more money into high-demand college degrees
  • Expands health care and protects the safety net

The House proposal fully embraces the savings and opportunities offered by Obamacare. The budget:
  • Offers affordable health coverage to 385,000 more people by expanding Medicaid
  • Helps small business with costs by implementing the health care exchange, giving business owners and employees affordable and portable options for health coverage
Tax reform and tax fairness

A citizens' commission, panel of experts, and the House Finance Committee all examined the massive number of tax breaks, exemptions, and loopholes. Hundreds of breaks and loopholes costs the taxpayers $24 billion, compared to the entire two-year state budget proposal of $34 billion.

Many of these breaks have been on the books since the 1930s. Do they still make sense? Do they actually create jobs?

The House proposes a series of reforms to shift tax dollars from loopholes that don't create jobs to funding education, which we know is the foundation of our modern economy.

The $1.3 billion in loopholes and revenue match up with the $1.3 billion invested in new education spending aimed at meeting our constitutional duty under the Supreme Court's McCleary decision.

To find out more about the our budget proposal, click here.

Read this story in Spanish.