There are currently two competing versions of the state budget battling it out in Olympia. The Republican budget cuts $43 million from services for homelessness, increases state college tuition, and still doesn't fully fund basic education for every student. The Democratic budget fully funds basic education, including special ed and programs that focus on homeless kids and English-language learners, while preserving funding for social services like mental health care and programs that address the cost of housing.
Washington state's tax code is currently one of the most regressive in the nation. Not only do we have no state income tax, but we also currently have no tax on capital gains. This means that a poor family living out of a one bedroom apartment in Lakewood may pay more than twice as much, as a percentage of their income, in state and local taxes, as a tech mogul with a multi-million dollar home in Queen Anne. The Democratic budget isn't perfect--it's a budget--but it makes Washington's tax code a little less regressive by introducing new taxes on bottled water, adjusting how out-of-state sales taxes and international investment management services taxes are collected, and instituting a tax on capital gains over $25k/year.
New taxes are a hard sell, and lawmakers are wary of voting for this budget. Let's call our state elected representatives and encourage them to fairly tax the rich in order to provide social services that benefit everyone.
Who to Call: Your State Senator and Both of Your State Representatives; find your LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT and contact information with this widget
More info: House Dems press release on their budget; House Repubs didn't put out a press release on their budget so here's the entire bill info; The News Tribune, "Here are some of the budget cuts in the Senate Republican budget proposal"
Hi, my name is [name] and I'm a constituent from [address or ZIP code]. I'm calling because I support the Democratic budget, which fully funds education and the social services that are important to me. I support it even though it raises taxes. [A new tax on capital gains is a good idea because it means the rich pay their fair share to support the community that they benefit from, including an educated workforce. / OR talk about a personal story about a social services program that would be affected] Does the [Senator/Representative] support the Democratic budget?