Find money by cutting tax exemptions. Plus: day care quality rating, child care, unemployment funds and health care

December 15, 2008 | Alex Stone

Tax exemptions under microscope: If state lawmakers wanted to raise money by closing tax exemptions, there are 567 to choose from. Taken together, the tax breaks cut $53 billion in potential revenues that the state might have received and $45 million more to local governments.

Plan to rate day cares falls victim to economy: Washington suspended work on its new child care rating program this month, as the deepening recession forced Gov. Chris Gregoire to halt one of her boldest proposals to improve the care of infants, toddlers and preschoolers.

Child care’s broken promise: supply and demand fail: Child care center directors earn 35 percent less than kindergarten teachers, according to Child Care Resources. We all know their teachers make far less.

Gregoire expected to propose cuts: Gov. Chris Gregoire faces a $5 billion budget shortfall made worse by the weakening economy, and she seeks a cut-to-fix approach that avoids new taxes.

States’ Funds for Jobless Are Drying Up: With unemployment claims reaching their highest levels in decades, states are running out of money to pay benefits, and some are turning to the federal government for loans or increasing taxes on businesses to make the payments.

What are Obama’s health care plans?: When Barack Obama talks about America’s deplorable health insurance problems, he speaks with undeniable passion. So what is he proposing?

Chopp: Washington’s deficit not that bad: Chopp, a Seattle Democrat, was in the Tri-Cities Friday for a forum, where he said Washington’s projected budget deficit may not be as bad as it looks.

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

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