|Washington State Activity
State Budget Revenue Forecast
Click this link to review the Revenue Forecast released on March 16, 2017. The revenue forecast is positive, but does not include enough revenue to cover the estimated costs for McCleary. YDEKC continues to recommend that members ask their elected officials to consider new revenue, such as capital gains, in order to fulling fund K-12 programs and not CUT other services that support children, youth and families.Here’s a quote from Misha Wershkul, Executive Director of the Washington State Budget & Policy Center about the importance of reforming the revenue and tax system:“Now that the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council has provided its revenue projections for the upcoming biennium, legislators have all the information they need to finally start cleaning up the tax code. The projected $303 million change in revenue projections in the coming two-year budget cycle ending in June 2019 is a less than 1 percent variation in the state budget as a whole, and it is not even close to enough to ensure the legislature has the resources required to fund Washington’s schools. Further, these estimates do not factor in an estimated $2.5 billion per year that the state could lose from federal proposals to repeal the Affordable Care Act and slash funding for Medicaid. There are no excuses for legislators to not act swiftly to ensure our state has the resources it needs. They must reform our revenue system – including closing the tax break on capital gains – to fund critical investments to support great schools, healthy communities, and a bright future for all Washingtonians.”
State Budget: Message your Representatives and Senators regarding revenue!
The McCleary Decision regarding the funding of K-12 Education is the primary driver for this legislative session and the budget. There is broad consensus among human services providers and non-profits that Education cannot be funded by CUTTING the programs that support children, youth, and families and our most vulnerable.
Please take the time to make a brief phone call, write an email, or send a letter or YDEKC postcard to state that you support new and/or additional revenue to keep programs in place. State if you support capital gains taxes and/or closing tax loopholes. Don’t know your legislators? Find them here!
Bills from YDEKC Agenda Moving Forward
Call the FREE Olympia hotline 1-800-562-6000 to leave a message for your lawmakers. Staff answer the phone M-F from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
- “Please vote YES on SHB 1570, the WA Housing Opportunities Act. Please prioritize and fight for a $200 million investment in the Housing Trust Fund to create 5,700 more affordable homes. Please expand the ABD monthly grant to $400/month and maintain the HEN grant at current levels, with an additional $20/month transportation grant. End asset tests for HEN, ABD, and TANF.”
HB1661 The New Children’s Department: The Department of Children, Youth, and Families House Bill passed with a strong bipartisan vote of 77-19! The budgets from the Senate and the House are anticipated to be released next week, so urge your Senators or Representatives to support this bill.
In particular, add that you are encouraged by the potential for prevention and support of children, youth, and families PRIOR to entering the child welfare system. State funding for community based programs for these services is of particular interest.
HB 1508 Regarding “Breakfast after the Bell”: This bill recently had a hearing scheduled in the Senate. Please contact your Senators and Representatives and urge them to include this on their budget!
SB 5236 Civics Learning Partnership: Has had a work session in the Senate and several of our coalition members would be involved in the public private partnership activities. Great opportunity for supporting civics education for youth and the programs could be supported in after school CBOs. Please contact your Senators to support this bill!
Social Emotional Learning: The budget proviso for SEL funding has been submitted by Rep Senn. My understanding is that is to fund the workgroup for another year. If you reach out to your elected officials regarding SEL issues, right now including funding for Counselors and Family Support workers is included in the McCleary plans.
Invest $4m in the Expanded Learning Opportunities Initiative: For more information, please see School’s Out Washington’s Advocacy Alert!