April 04, 2013
The Republican-controlled Senate has unveiled a budget proposal that focuses on a series of spending cuts and fund transfers as lawmakers work toward balancing a projected budget deficit while also complying with a court-ordered requirement to spend more on the state's basic education system. Under the budget released Wednesday, budget writers say they identified more than $1 billion in savings, including $65 million in government efficiencies that state agencies will have to implement, $127 million in savings by moving thousands of low-income government workers into federally subsidized health care and millions more saved by delaying the opening of a prison unit. The budget adds $1.5 billion more to K-12 education, including $1 billion directly toward basic education. The overall amount includes more than $240 million on a learning assistance program targeted to high-poverty schools and $41 million to phase in expansion of full-day kindergarten. For his part, Governor Jay Inslee said the Senate budget proposal is a non-starter. Isaac Kaplan-Woolner reached Gov. Inslee by phone to talk about his reaction to the Senate budget proposal, and about a climate change bill Inslee signed into law on Tuesday.