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Friday, February 20, 2009


Today, we'll be in Olympia hand-delivering a letter signed by over twenty economists and public policy experts from across the state that urges the Governor, the Speaker and the Senate Majority Leader to “consider the full range of options, including revenue increases, when deciding how to close the state budget gap.”

We will be meeting with Senate Majority Leader Brown to discuss the serious concerns outlined in the letter regarding the state's growing budget deficit.

This afternoon's preliminary revenue forecast is a wake-up call. It signals the need for a new approach to the economic crisis here in Washington. While the Budget & Policy Center has been calling on policymakers to consider all reasonable options for a long time, this forecast crystallizes the inadequacy of trying to address a budget deficit of this magnitude through cuts alone.

In terms of the state economy, the economists and policy experts note that "reducing government spending will have a more deleterious effect on Washington State's economy than would increasing revenue." In fact, as our Research Director Jeff Chapman notes, severe cuts to public investments in economic security and health would undermine the strong federal response that was just enacted into law on Tuesday.

What is needed now is a thoughtful discussion among policymakers that considers all options.


1. Since the letter was released, six new economists signed on to the letter! The updated letter can be found here

2. The meeting with Senator Brown went very well.

(From left to right: Jeff Chapman, our Research Director, Peter Dorman from Evergreen, Senator Brown, Ralph Murphy from Evergreen, David Batker from Earth Economics, and me. Two more economists - Dr. Marjolein van der Veen from Bellevue & Shoreline Community Colleges and Alexander Rist from King County - were on the phone.)

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