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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Governor Gregoire released her 2010 supplemental budget proposal this morning. It includes $1.6 billion in cuts to essential public structures that promote health, education, economic security, and safe and thriving communities.

As required by law, the budget works inside existing revenue constraints. The Governor acknowledged her concern over this budget and plans to release a second budget that will include necessary revenue increases in order to avoid the most damaging cuts.

The Governor is right to be concerned about the effects this budget would have on Washington’s economy and people during these tough economic times. A balanced approach that includes meaningful revenue increases is a better alternative.

The budget released today proposes completely eliminating or suspending efforts including (this is only a partial list):
  • Basic Health, which provides affordable health insurance to 65,000 people.
  • General Assistance for the Unemployable, which provides help to people who are unable to work because of disability.
  • Health insurance coverage for 16,000 lower income children.
  • Benefits for Medicaid clients including vision, podiatry, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, prescription drug assistance for elderly patients, hospice care, dental, and maternity support.
  • Funding to send more than 1,500 3-year-olds to preschool.
  • State support for all-day kindergarten in high-poverty areas.
  • Class size reduction efforts.
  • A program that equalizes school funding between wealthy and poor school districts.
  • Tuition assistance for over 12,000 lower-income students.
Stay tuned to schmudget for more analysis of the Governor’s budget.

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