Big changes in the new stimulus plan for Washington. Plus: tax revenue, state spending, early learning, investing in education and unemployment

February 11, 2009 | Alex Stone

Aspects of Senate stimulus plan upset state officials: School construction funding, including more $208 million to help modernize nearly 140 schools in Washington state, was dropped as the Senate passed its version of a massive economic recovery plan Tuesday.

Washington monthly tax revenue less than expected: The state Revenue Forecast Council says tax collections in the past month in Washington were $63 million short of the amount expected.

Spending proposal threatens assistance for at-risk families: Marvin Charles, founder of the DADS program, is worried about funding for his community-based program that helps fathers reconnect with their children. State budget cuts could halve the program’s funding.

New face for Early Learning: Gov. Chris Gregoire tapped Bremerton school chief Bette Hyde on Tuesday to run the Department of Early Learning, selecting a veteran public school administrator used to working with tight budgets.

New U.S. education secretary urges investment in schools: Congress must quickly pass an economic stimulus bill that strongly invests in education, or risk worsening the financial crisis, the nation’s top education official said Tuesday.

Stimulating the Stimulus—unemployment compensation: The stimulus bill before the Senate would exempt from income tax the first $2,400 of unemployment compensation that people receive in 2009. Because the exclusion reduces their taxable income, higher bracket taxpayers get a bigger break than those with lower incomes. And very low-income households that have no tax liability would get no benefit at all.

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Posted in Early Learning, Education, State Economy, Tax and Budget, Work & Family

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