Tuition increases would be costly. Plus: long-term tax problems, more on the revenue poll, and national health care reforms

April 22, 2009 | Alex Stone

Tuition increases would be costly: Think well-off parents will be the ones to shoulder tuition increases at state schools? Think again. “Seventy percent of the students in higher ed are in the community and technical colleges; 31 percent of our students are parents themselves; over half of them are working.” Higher tuition does not necessarily mean higher aid. Even Washington state legislators acknowledge fewer students will be able to attend college. Restricting access to higher education will hinder Washington’s economy for years to come, making it more difficult to recover from this recession. | Public News Service

More of the same [taxes]: A proposal to temporarily increase the state sales tax to fund basic health services narrowly passed out of committee yesterday. It now moves to the full House for consideration. But the bill has only lukewarm support — and for at least one legislator that’s because it doesn’t address long-term problems in Washington’s tax system. Mark Miloscia, D-Federal Way, describes his reason for voting against the proposed increase: “This bill attempts a temporary money fix which doesn’t solve any problems. I’m looking for us to have a sustainable budget to address long-term care. How do we solve this forever?” | seattlepi.com

Back to the poll: More details have emerged since Austin Jenkins reported summary results of a poll on state revenue proposals (see our post: Polling a fast one). Goldy over at HA blog has a more complete copy of the tax-week poll. He reports that a tax on high incomes enjoys a higher approval rating than a sales tax increase, and preliminary results suggest it would pass as a ballot measure. In other words, Washington voters are willing to pay for investments in public goods, and should be given the chance to do so in a more equitable way. | Horses Ass Blog

Preventive care for Medicare: Plans are in the works to make Medicare the testing ground for new health care reforms – reforms that will likely set the tone for sweeping changes to the health care industry. These reforms, high on President Obama’s to-do list, include restraining costs, increasing quality, and covering the uninsured. Look for a Senate bill as soon as this summer. | Associated Press

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

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