Governor Inslee releases Working Washington budget priorities

March 28, 2013

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Proposal would boost education funding, set new accountability measures 

Governor Inslee today released his Working Washington 2013-15 budget priorities which call for $1.2 billion in new targeted education investments tied to strong accountability measures. 

“I feel deeply that my number one priority is to help rebuild our economy, get people working again, and take important steps toward building a workforce for the future,” said Inslee. “And that begins with education.”

Inslee’s budget moves the state forward in meeting Supreme Court-mandated basic education obligations. Besides providing more support for basic school operations, Inslee’s plan includes funding for full-day kindergarten expansion and reducing kindergarten and first grade class sizes, early reading intervention, dropout prevention programs and more professional development opportunities for educators. Outside of the definition of basic education, Inslee also proposes adding $35 million to expand preschool opportunities.

Inslee has said repeatedly that the state cannot fund its basic education obligations by making deeper cuts to vital services for children, seniors and vulnerable adults. Instead, the Governor proposes closing tax breaks and extending tax rates set to expire June 30 — a 0.3 percent business and occupation tax surcharge paid by doctors, lawyers, accountants and others and a 50-cent-per gallon beer tax.

“Today, I choose education over tax breaks. I choose fulfilling our constitutional and moral duty to ensure quality schools for our children,” said Inslee. “When we give these tax breaks a hard look, they just don’t measure up to our urgent need to better fund education.”

The Governor’s budget priorities also:

  • Promote policies and opportunities to grow jobs
  • Step up efforts on Lean management so state agencies operate more effectively and efficiently, within available resources
  • Protect vital services to seniors, children and the disabled and improve access for all to health care through expansion of Medicaid
  • Reinvest in Washington’s quality of life with renewed investments in state parks

“I believe I have laid out a plan that takes a big step toward making sure every child receives an excellent education and that every worker has the skills he or she needs to succeed in today’s economy.”

Inslee’s proposal also addresses a projected budget shortfall totaling more than $2 billion over the next two years, and leaves more than $500 million in reserves.

Budget materials are available online here: http://www.ofm.wa.gov/budget13inslee/default.asp

Media Contact 

Jaime Smith
Governor Inslee’s Communications Office
360.902.4136