Washington seeks federal funds to alleviate budget woes. Plus: paid family leave, the state health plan and early learning

December 3, 2008 | Alex Stone

Gregoire seeks $600M from federal stimulus package: Washington state officials have identified a minimum of $600 million in infrastructure projects they would like funded by a federal economic stimulus package early next year, Gov. Chris Gregoire said Tuesday after she and other governors met with President-elect Barack Obama.

Paid family leave still rumbling: Just a quick hit from a meeting of House budget writers specializing in human services. They were reminded that they had given $6.2 million to the Employment Security Department to build a computer to run a paid family leave program.

If the state won’t fund education, let the locals: With K-12 education accounting for about a third of state general fund expenditures, and a $5 billion-plus revenue shortfall projected over the next biennium budget, there’s little doubt that there will be at least some cuts in state funding of basic education… possibly as much as a billion dollars or more.

Recession began a year ago, economists say: The U.S. economy entered a recession in December 2007, a committee of economists at the private National Bureau of Economic Research said Monday.

State to cut working-class health plan: The state will begin Friday to cut its health insurance plan for the working class in another effort to reduce the shortfall in the state budget.

What President-elect Obama will not cut: Linda Darling Hammond, who is heading up the Policy Working Group for the Obama transition team, said at a National Academy of Education gathering in Washington Nov. 18 that Obama would hold true to what he said during the campaign regarding spending on early childhood education. Asked during debates which of his initiatives would have to fall by the wayside due to the recession, Obama answered that one thing he would not cut would his spending plans for early childhood education.

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

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