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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Today the Budget & Policy Center is releasing an analysis of Governor Gregoire's supplemental budget for the FY09-11 biennium. For the second year in a row, the Governor’s budget proposes deep cuts to core public services in response to the continuing economic and fiscal crisis in the state. Combined with the cuts already enacted in the current biennium, the Governor’s supplemental budget proposal would result in a nearly 14 percent reduction in the state’s investments in education, health care, and economic security.

The damage to our education system, health care infrastructure, public safety, and environmental protections would impact all Washingtonians. The Governor’s supplemental proposal would also create immediate harm for many. For example:

* Over 65,000 people will lose access to affordable health insurance;
* 16,000 children will lose health insurance coverage;
* Over 20,000 people who are unable to work due to disability will lose financial and medical assistance;
* 12,300 students from lower income families will lose an important source of financial aid;
* 10,000 working families per month will lose child care assistance;
* 1,500 three-year-olds will lose access to early learning opportunities.

Relying heavily on deep cuts represents one potential approach to the budget shortfall. Over the coming months other ideas will be presented, including more balanced approaches that propose raising revenue to avoid drastic cuts that will harm our state’s residents and economy.

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