"This proposal is deeply flawed. It's the same old game that relies on short-term fixes and budget tricks, and it results in policy choices that would take our state backward.
"The Senate proposal to address our basic education obligations is funded in large part through cuts to vital services for children, families and vulnerable adults — exactly what I have said we must not do. The proposal released today would cut child care subsidies for low-income families and other families working to get off welfare, and reduce long-term care services for the elderly and people with developmental disabilities. It would make deep cuts to our state prison system, would force us to close state parks and fall far short of my plan for expanding early childhood education opportunities.
"What's more, the Senate proposal relies heavily on unworkable or unrealistic across-the-board savings, phantom cuts that will leave us with a bigger problem in our next budget. We need to be accountable to the citizens of Washington and be straightforward with them about how we will balance the budget with a sustainable way to meet the urgent needs of - and the constitutional obligation to - our children.
"I'm heartened that some senators recognize the need for a workable, long-term financing plan for education that doesn't cut services to our most vulnerable citizens or rely on gimmicks and half-measures. I look forward to working with all senators to find a real solution to our state's pressing needs."