Since the Great Recession began in 2008, more than $5 billion has been cut from Washington’s budget — and current forecasts show another $3 billion shortfall in tax receipts. The cuts have been particularly devastating to public education and health.
Among the cuts: $479 million in voter-approved student achievement funding disappeared when tax revenues bottomed out, and $236 million for the Basic Health Plan, which subsidizes low-cost health plans for low-income working adults.
Okay, so those are big numbers. But what do they mean specifically for Washington residents?
For education, it means the average annual per-student allocation for student achievement will drop from $458 in 2008-09 to $0 in the coming year (click graph to enlarge):
For health care, it means more than 40,000 working adults have lost low-cost basic health insurance, while many of those remaining on the Basic Health Plan have higher premiums (click graph to enlarge):
This fall, Initiative 1098 offers Washington voters an opportunity to reform Washington’s taxes and help restore the state’s health and education systems. If passed by voters, $1.6 billion dollars in revenue would be dedicated to educating Washington children, and $685 million toward the health of working Washingtonians.
It will also position Washington’s people and businesses to compete in the global economy as we emerge from the recession, by providing $650 million in tax cuts that primarily benefit middle class families and small businesses. That money will be pumped right back into the local economy — stimulus and investment Washington state needs to get our economy moving again.
Looking for more information about Initiative 1098? Visit the Economic Opportunity Institute website.