37th District Values Reflected in Budget
With only hours to go before the deadline, a budget passed the Legislature and has been sent to the governor’s desk for his signature, avoiding a government shutdown.
While no budget is perfect, this has many positive things in it and reflects the values of the 37th Legislative District. Some reasons I voted for the budget include:
- Funds the strongest statewide paid family leave program in the country. This will make a real difference to working families at the most important times of their lives – in welcoming a child or in caring for older parents or those with disabilities.
- Fully funds collective bargaining agreements for public employees.
- Real investments in Expanding New Americans Program. This budget increases support and capacity for immigration legal services for naturalization assistance for legal permanent residents.
- Latino Health Center at UW
- Critical investments in environmental justice and climate mitigation: Wildfire prevention planning, air quality study on implications of air traffic including assessment of ultra-fine particulate matter in impacted communities including Beacon Hill, and a funded Clean Air Act.
- Investments in Child Care: Provides important critical rate increases for family child care providers, child care centers, and ECEAP program and ensures 3,700 childcare vouchers for families in the 37th District.
- Formation of the Department of Children and Family Services, which will better serve foster youth and struggling families and includes parity for kinship providers.
- More funding for homelessness prevention and services including housing and services for homeless youth and individuals with a history of mental illness.
- Increased state need grant over the next two years and a state matching funds for the opportunity scholarship
“Yes” for Education – “No” for Regressive Funding
Along with the budget, the Legislature on Friday also passed a landmark bill to address the underfunding of public schools in this state. Overall, I support the policy because it ensures additional funds for:
- Teacher salaries
- Low-income schools and students, and ensures it goes directly to the school rather than the district where it can be distributed elsewhere
- Special education
- Career and technical education
Unfortunately, Republicans insisted on paying for the investments primarily through a property tax. This approach doubles down on our regressive tax system (the most unfair in the nation) and further burdens working families in Seattle, Renton and dozens of other communities throughout the state.
In the end, it is a Democratic bill with Republican funding. And because the Republican property tax hits the 37th district particularly hard I could not vote for the bill. Raising property taxes by hundreds of dollars each year in a time when the rising cost of living is squeezing too many out of our neighborhoods is not an acceptable solution to our school funding issues.
I support progressive approaches to funding, including the capital gains tax and progressive real estate excise taxes. I am committed to reversing the unfair nature of our state tax system and pleased to share with you that a study was funded in the budget to examine the feasibility of a state bank (for more on that, click here).
I celebrate the good that will be done with the $7.3 billion going into our schools in the next four years, but will continue to work with you and my colleagues in the Legislature to ensure more fair funding in the future.
For detailed information on tax impacts, please click here.
This summer I am holding a Community Conversations series in our district. We will discuss how to make life in the 37th Legislative District more affordable while still making critical investments that ensure everyone in our community has opportunities to thrive.
July 28th, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. – Renton Highlands Library – 2801 NE 10th St, Renton, WA 98056
July 29th, 11:05 a.m. – 12:35 p.m. – Secondary Learning Center – 7800 S 132nd St, Seattle, WA 98178
July 30th, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. – Mt. Baker Housing Association – 2900 S. McClellan. Seattle, WA 98144
Do you want to host a