Washington State House Democrats


Rep. Wylie’s Update: House unveils a ‘Families First’ budget

Dear neighbors,

I often talk to people in my community about our tax system. Explaining that we need more money for education and other critical services is never easy when so many are having a difficult time making ends meet. That is why I use the terms Sufficient, Sustainable and Fair as where I would like to see us end up.  To know whether we have met those objectives we must first agree on our priorities, which is why I support the budget put forward by the House Democratic Caucus this week.   It is not perfect and it will look different by the end of the session. But it reflects my values and the priorities of the people I represent.

No gimmicks or making our tax system more regressive

Families first.  That priority is clearly supported by this budget. People across the state have asked us to improve education, make college affordable, create thriving communities, and increase access to quality health care. The House Democratic budget reflects those priorities and accomplishes those goals without making our tax system more unfair or regressive.  In fact, it lowers taxes for small businesses and makes home ownership a bit easier for home-buyers, especially those buying their first home.

The House Democratic budget fully funds education by investing in our classrooms, in our teachers, and in our kids. Our budget invests $7.1 billion in additional dollars for our K-12 schools by putting high-quality teachers in every classroom, giving students the education they deserve, and keeping our promise to fully fund education. With this budget, we end the local school district reliance on levies to make up for funding shortfalls.

Education is our primary focus, but not our only focus. Our ‘families first’ budget makes key investments in early learning, higher education, critical human services, housing, civil legal aid, and quality care for our aging population and people with developmental disabilities.

We all want a future that keeps Washington a great place to live, work, and raise a family.

You can read more about our budget proposal here.

Our budget stands in stark contrast with the Senate Republican budget, which:

  • Slashes housing services for homeless youth and families.
  • Rolls back commitments to improve quality of childcare.
  • Raises college tuition and ignores the growing State Need Grant backlog.
  • Reduces services for blind and disabled people
  • Breaks promises to our local governments
  • Rejects the $1 billion in federal Medicaid funding that was approved from the Medicaid Transformation Waiver
  • Increases property taxes

We have known all along that there wasn’t enough revenue to create an exceptional education system without cutting some or all of the critical state services mentioned above. Even our Republican colleagues agree that more money is needed, and in addition to deep cuts to state services, they proposed a $5.5 billion property tax to fund their budget.

Our revenue plan cuts taxes for families and businesses, while improving the fairness of our tax system to make these needed investments. You can read more about our revenue package here and here.

What’s next?

Now that both chambers have introduced budget and revenue plans, both sides will start negotiating a compromise solution to send to the governor. I remain committed to supporting your values and the values of Washington throughout the negotiation process.