The state Legislature faces a special session deadline tomorrow, yet lawmakers have not completed the people’s business. Notably, they have yet to pass the 2015-17 state budget. House Democrats—due to their unwillingness to compromise on their spending package and their refusal to vote for their historic tax hike proposals—have forced budget negotiations to proceed at a snail’s pace.
With a second special session and a potential state government shutdown on the horizon, one would assume that House Democrats’ are defending an unequaled piece of legislation—a budget for the Washington State’s history books. That assumption is reasonable given the consequences of inaction… reasonable, but wrong.
So, just what kind of spending plan (it can’t be called a budget, since they won’t vote on the revenues to make it balance) are Democrats risking a state government shutdown to protect? Here are 10 little known facts of what the House Democrats’ budget would do:
- Democrats’ budget would cut funding for Sex Offender Notification Program.
- Democrats’ budget would allow earlier release for high-risk juvenile sex offenders into communities.
- Democrats’ budget would provide special commitment sex offenders better access to health care benefits than the average citizen.
- Democrats’ budget would increases welfare spending at a faster rate than education.
- Democrats’ budget prioritizes pot smokers over low-income seniors when deciding whose taxes to cut.
- Democrats’ budget would eliminate funding for “Most Wanted Website” that displays photos of parents delinquent in child support.
- Democrats’ budget would cut a program supporting families dealing with infant hearing loss, while funding a “Public Art Portal” to make it easier for citizens to locate public art.
- Democrats’ budget treats higher education funding as an illusion. The House budget does not fund the higher education tuition freeze within the proposed $3 billion revenue growth. Rather, it is only funded with capital gains tax revenues—the very same tax House Democrats refuse to vote on.
- Democrats’ budget places students as a secondary concern to their labor allies, by making sure to fund the Higher Education collective bargaining agreements out of existing revenue growth, not the capital gains tax.
- Democrats’ budget would raise taxes on small employers by 20%, but cut taxes on marijuana by 20%.