Gov. Inslee pushes education funding, climate agenda in State of State Address
OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee delivered his State of the State Address to the joint legislative chambers Tuesday afternoon in Olympia, highlighting a number of priorities he has in store for 2015.
Inslee’s speech highlighted his plans for securing a robust state economy, while maintaining a healthy environment, saying the state is at a crossroads as it strives for a balance.
“One path leads to an economy that works for all Washingtonians, supports thriving communities and preserves a healthy environment,” Inslee said. “The other path leads to a slow erosion of our shared prosperity, a widening gap of inequality and a deterioration of our clean air and water. The choice is ours.”
The state is on the path to economic rebound, Inslee said, adding 150,000 jobs over the past two years.
Inslee prioritized education in the speech, saying reducing class size and increasing early childhood education programs are paramount in the coming year.
The time has also come to add new revenue to the budget, Inslee said, not simply cut existing programs for a balance. Years of continued cuts have left mental health and welfare programs cracked and underfunded, he said.
“We’ve been cutting those services to balance our budget,” Inslee said. “And it’s no longer working.”
Inslee also proposed passing a mass transportation revenue package, one that could help replace the state’s ailing bridges.
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To read Inslee’s full State of the State speech, click here.