Senate Debates Dozens of Amendments on Budget Bill

The Senate worked into the early morning hours Friday debating dozens of amendments to a Republican-crafted budget bill, but a final vote on the plan won’t happen until after the weekend, at the earliest. The House passed its $39 billion two-year budget Thursday on a 51-47 party-line vote.

Senate Budget Falls Short

The budget proposal released by the Senate on Tuesday invests $1 billion less than the House proposal. It shortchanges critical investments in our state’s children, workers, and families.

The False Hope of a Limited Government, Built on Tax Breaks

Including both taxes on government benefits, which tend to be higher in other countries, and the cost of tax subsidies like the deduction for company-provided health insurance, American public spending on social insurance rises to almost 21 percent of G.D.P. That is above the O.E.C.D. average, ahead of Norway and no longer that far behind Denmark.

Senate GOP Budget Proposal: No New Taxes

“We’ve been very clear we felt all along $3 billion more in new revenue was certainly enough,” Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler. House Democrats, who released their budget last week, blasted the Senate’s proposal as relying on “gimmicks, gambles and a lot of marijuana.”

House Budget Proposal Prioritizes Funding for Education

The House budget released this morning recognizes that fixing our broken revenue system is necessary to make progress toward creating shared prosperity in Washington state. The two-year spending proposal prioritizes investments for kids and students using $1.5 billion in new revenue.

House Democrats Present a $5.1 Billion Budget Problem for 2015-17

The proposal would increase policy level spending by $2.4 billion near general fund-state plus opportunity pathways. Given those increases and the maintenance level costs (the costs of continuing current services), the summary estimates that there is a $5.1 billion problem for the biennium. (I-1351 class size reduction and I-732 COLAs are included in maintenance level.)

State Legislature Has Huge Budget Disagreements To Overcome

The number of disagreements over budget items is mounting. Democrats say that new taxes are needed to close significant gaps, while Republicans remain vehemently opposed. The Senate has yet to reveal its budget proposal and already, legislators are taking shots at one another.

Washington State Lagging in Key Measures of Progress

On more than half of almost 100 measures of progress – from employment opportunities for our residents to the education of future generations – we are stalled or going backward. Those are the primary findings of the Washington Budget & Policy Center newly released Progress Index.