Target: Frank Chopp, Speaker of Washington State House of Representatives
Goal: Pass a budget that gives necessary resources to Washington State families
Bowing to pressure from Republicans, who control Washington State Senate, the House of Representatives introduced a revised budget and revenue package. The new plan reduces funding for schools and early learning, food stamps and health benefits for state employees. This proposal fails the middle class and sets the state economy back. Washington needs a budget that reflects priorities of the middle class.
The new budget proposal from Washington House of Representatives would invest $400 million less in public schools, $16 million less in early learning, $20 million less for families receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (welfare), and $4 million less to address the educational opportunity gap. Legislation has been introduced in the House to close seven tax breaks, which would raise $260 million for K-12 public schools and colleges; however, $100 million could be raised for education.
There are other ways to create more revenue, like excise taxes on capital gains tax code reformation. An income tax on wealthy households would help bring the budget deficit down and add resources to help children and families in need. A new report from Kids Count in Washington showed that nearly four out of ten kids in the state live in families that struggle to meet basic needs, such as food, housing and school supplies. The report also found that almost 104,000 children do not have health insurance, and 31 percent of students cannot read proficiently by the end of third grade. The truth is kids cannot get ahead in schools if they do not have enough to eat or if they are sick and cannot go see a doctor because their parents are unable to pay for medical services.
This crisis is avoidable. Please sign below if you agree that Washington House of Representatives should take the lead and insist on more revenue, as well as a limit on tax breaks, unless they are absolutely necessary.
Dear Mr. Chopp,
Recently proposed budget by the House of Representatives reduces funding for schools and early learning, TANF and health benefits for state employees. It leaves the middle class without much needed resources to grow and prosper, and schools without critical funding.
A recent report from Kids Count in Washington found that nearly four out of ten kids in the state live in families that struggle to put food on the table, lack adequate housing and cannot afford schools supplies. In addition, nearly 104,000 children are uninsured, and 31 percent of students cannot read proficiently by the end of third grade. It is no wonder they cannot. If a child does not have enough to eat or sick and cannot afford to get medical treatment, it is hard to get ahead in school.
This is a real crisis in the state of Washington. It is avoidable if politicians stand up for what is right. There are a number of options that you can take: enact an excise tax on capital gains; reform the tax code to create new resources to invest in job creation and economic growth. Extend a 0.3 percentage-point B&O surcharge applied to business services, worth $534 million, and a surcharge on breweries and other beer distributors ($58 million). An income tax on wealthy households would help accelerate growth and combat budget deficit. A path to prosperity is not through cutting, it is through adding resources and helping families that struggle to make ends meet. Since Washington State Supreme Court overturned a two-thirds majority rule to raise taxes, it is possible to enact such a tax. This is what the state needs.
[Your Name Here]
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