The operating budget proposed today by the Senate follows the principles established with last year’s bipartisan budget by not relying on new taxes while managing not to eliminate critical educational, health care and public safety services.
“The budget honors the highest priority of families and communities across the state by making no cuts to current K-12 or higher education funding, recognizing their importance to the future of our residents and our state,” said Sen. Ed Murray, chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee.
To reduce K-12 class size, consistent with the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision, the budget will tap revenue from legislation to end the tax exemption on interest on mortgages for national banks and end an exemption on sales tax on wind power generation equipment ahead of schedule.
The budget protects education and continues the bipartisan model of last year’s budget through a few key steps, including:
The budget reinvests more $340 million in savings from the recently improved caseload forecast, savings that were driven at least in part by a number of prior governmental reforms in past years.
The budget cuts more than $350 million from non-education state services. Though these cuts will impact people, they were the most reasonable cuts budget negotiators could find.
An overview of the budget proposal is availble here.