Gov. Inslee to sign two-year state budget that cuts tuition, puts money into K-12

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to sign a $38.2 billion two-year state operating budget that cuts tuition for college students and puts more money toward the state’s K-12 education system.

Inslee is set to sign the plan Tuesday afternoon, just hours before the end of the current two-year fiscal cycle. Lawmakers moved swiftly to pass the budget Monday night in order to avoid a partial government shutdown that would have started Wednesday.

The House passed the budget plan on a 90-8 vote, just hours after the Senate passed it on a 38-10 vote. The House is also expected to take a vote Tuesday on a $16.1 billion transportation revenue bill that includes an 11.9 cent incremental increase in the gas tax. Lawmakers are also expected to pass a construction budget.

In a statement Monday night, Inslee said, “Legislators tonight approved a great budget for Washington state. It makes the investments we need to move the state forward and follows spending priorities I set out when the Legislature convened in January.

“This budget allows us to take a big step toward meeting our obligation to K-12 education, including all-day kindergarten, smaller class sizes in lower grades and a teacher mentoring program. We fully funded collective bargaining agreements to give state workers a raise and funded long overdue cost-of-living adjustments for teachers. We boosted programs that care for people with mental illness and added caseworkers who protect vulnerable children…

“My staff will immediately begin a careful review of the budget, and we plan to take action on it tomorrow afternoon,” Inslee said.

The Washington Education Association issued a statement saying that it was not happy with the budget. It contends the measure “cuts teacher pay, increases class sizes for most students and fails to fully fund K-12 public schools as required by the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision.”

Thousands of state workers have already received notice that they would be furloughed starting Wednesday, July 1, if a budget wasn’t adopted in time.

Full details of the budget were released publicly Monday afternoon. The bipartisan agreement spends an estimated $1.3 billion on K-12 basic education, and it phases in tuition cuts at the state’s universities, as well as community and technical colleges.

Sen. Michael Baumgartner, R-Spokane, issued the following statement Monday evening after the Washington Senate voted for an unprecedented college-tuition rollback in the final agreement on a 2015-17 operating budget:

“The big winners in this state budget agreement are college students and their families … We will reduce tuition 5 percent across the board this fall, and we will further reduce it in 2016, for a total 15 percent reduction at UW and WSU and a total 20 percent at Eastern, Western, Central and Evergreen.”Tuition rollbacks enacted by Legislature in operating budget, SB 5954

 

Current Yr 14-15 Yr 15-16 Savings Year 16-17 Savings
UW $10,740 $537.00 $1,611.00
WSU $10,336 $516.80 $1,550.40
CWU $6,954 $347.70 $1,390.80
EWU $6,491 $324.55 $1,298.20
TESC $6,968 $348.40 $1,391.60
WWU $7,209 $360.45 $1,441.80
Community and technical colleges $3,217 $160.85 N/A

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8 comments

  • "peety"

    there are winner and losers with this deal, but, let’s see what the court has to say before considering this budget done

  • tootietuttle

    working against the failed liberal democrat policies of the past. Kill the GET program, and sink more money into failed transportation so we can get a bigger Bertha and lipo for Marko Liaas. Democrats working to destroy the middle class by with a greater tax burden on the middle class.

  • Morris Ryan

    Jay Inslee and the Democrats have fired up the spin machine and are trying to claim victory by saying they successfully increased funds for early learning and teacher pay. What they fail to mention is that both were in the Senate Republicans’ initial budget that was passed in April.

  • VOTE NO ON GAS TAX

    The House is also expected to take a vote Tuesday on a $16.1 billion transportation revenue bill that includes an 11.9 cent incremental increase in the gas tax. I VOTE NO!!! Stop raising the taxes. You’ve already raised and added taxes to our Vehicle Tabs. JUST STOP!!!!

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