The state House Democrats made sure that their record-breaking $39 billion budget rewards their million-dollar campaign donors—including the Washington Education Association, the Washington Federation of State Employees and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) —with nearly a billion dollars in pay raises. That’s why House Democrats’ budget includes a historic $5.2 billion spending increase (up 15.4% from the last budget). And, it’s why the $39 billion budget requires $1.5 billion in tax increases—including a state capital gains income tax and Business & Occupation tax hikes—that would rise to $2.4 billion in the following biennia.
The only state employee union that would face funding cuts in the House Democrats’ budget is the Public School Employees (PSE)—school janitors, lunchroom personnel, bus drivers, etc. A quick look into the PSE’s past campaign donations is all the explanation needed as to why.
Recipients of PSE’s contributions include the Washington State Republican Party and various Republican candidates for state Legislature. The PSE even dared to break away with other unions and endorse Rob McKenna for governor in 2012. Simply put, the PSE does not fit into Democrats’ pay-to-play mold. That makes them susceptible to punishment.
House Democrats’ budget does not prioritize Washington’s working families, and it certainly does not prioritize education. Rather, the House budget prioritizes the Democrats’ best special interest friends —and rewarding their million-dollar campaign donors—above all else.