Bankrupcy, tuition and budget cuts in Washington state. Plus: thoughts on higher ed cuts, the priorities of senior citizens, unemployment, and Obama’s tax plan.

November 24, 2008 | Alex Stone

Washington bankruptcy filings rise 40%: For the first 10 months of 2008, more than 18,000 bankruptcy cases were filed as families were squeezed by a credit crisis, layoffs and a declining housing market — a 40 percent increase from the previous year.

20% cuts may be ahead for state colleges, universities as bottom falls out of budget: The University of Washington and other institutions are trying to figure out ways to plug a yawning budget gap. Officials at several universities are already talking about raising tuition by 10 to 15 percent next year — perhaps $1,000 per student. That would require lawmakers to lift the current limit on schools of 7 percent in tuition increases annually.

Gregoire says larger deficit will require ‘truly ugly’ cuts: Gov. Chris Gregoire says the ballooning state deficit could reach $6 billion, and will lead to spending cuts that are “truly ugly.”

Higher Education: Disproportionate cuts beyond foolish: In ordering higher education institutions to plan for disproportionate 20 percent budget cuts, Gov. Chris Gregoire’s office is exploring one of the worst possible options. Rollbacks could prove disastrous to the economy’s future.

Senior citizen lobby to Gov. Gregoire: We were on your side; Don’t cut our programs; We still want an income tax: The above headline summarizes the points made in a recent letter from Walt Bowen, president of the Washington State Senior Citizens Lobby, to recently re-elected Gov. Chris Gregoire.

California unemployment jumps to 8.2%, third-highest in the U.S.: The state’s unemployment rate is the highest in 14 years; it rose half a percentage point in October from the month earlier. In the past 12 months, more than 100,000 jobs have been lost.

Budget crisis has state workers on edge: The specter of layoffs is looming over a sector of the economy that rarely sees it: state workers. As Olympia struggles to bridge a record budget shortfall of $5.1 billion – or more – over the next 2 1/2 years, lawmakers and budget officials say that cutting jobs looks more likely.

Obama may delay tax-cut rollback for wealthy: President-elect Barack Obama may consider delaying a campaign promise – to roll back tax cuts on high-income Americans – as part of his economic recovery strategy, two aides said on Sunday.

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Posted in State Economy, Tax and Budget, Work & Family

Comments

  1. laura hagen says:

    When will someone call for an end to this shameless run on the middle class taxpayer to “bail out” wall street, industry, and now the universities. The leaders in these various sectors have shown no self-sacrifice or personal responsibility in response to this situation which was largely created through their own mismanagement and greed. The taxpayer should not be asked to contribute a dime to bail these sectors out until their leaders are sacked or, in the least, their outrageous compensation packages are seriously cut!

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