Washington State House Democrats


House Democrats Propose “Families First” Budget

OLYMPIA – House Democrats proposed a “Families First” budget Monday that fully funds basic education, supports families and children, and continues the progress to give students and families relief from rising college tuition costs.

“This budget puts families and children front and center,” said Rep. Derek Stanford (D-Bothell), a member of the House Appropriations Committee. “We need to solve our K-12 funding problems, but we can’t do that by raising taxes on working families while cutting programs that help them.”

“We also wanted to make sure to continue freezing tuition and investing in the State Need Grant program,” added Rep. Shelley Kloba (D-Kirkland). “This is going to help people in our district afford a great education at places like UW Bothell, Cascadia College and the Lake Washington Institute of Technology, or at any of our public higher education institutions statewide.”

The House Budget puts families first by:

  • Committing an additional $7.1 billion to K-12 Schools
  • Freezing tuition for all state college students
  • Investing $49 million in the State Need Grant, giving 6,000 more students the ability to afford college
  • Increasing the number of state-funded preschool slots, getting 3,000 more children from low-income families kindergarten-ready
  • Investing in quality child care for working families
  • Funding the new Department of Children, Youth and Families, providing better outcomes by focusing on the children first
  • Making investments in mental health to ensure people get the care they need in the appropriate setting, as well as preserving and increasing critical funding in public health

The “Families First” budget funds these investments with a revenue proposal that lowers taxes for working families and small businesses while making Washington’s tax system less regressive. By contrast, the Senate Republican budget slashes programs that help families and Washington’s most vulnerable residents, while raising taxes on the middle class.

“The House budget is in line with Washington’s values,” said Sen. Guy Palumbo (D-Maltby). “Unfortunately, the Senate Republicans’ proposed budget represents a completely different set of values. Their budget relies on taxes that disproportionately hurt our working families. They hike tuition rates, reduce funding for financial aid programs and eliminate services that support single mothers and the elderly. We have a lot of work left to do. But, I am confident that we can work together to produce a budget that is more in line with the House and isn’t balanced on the backs of the poor or our most vulnerable.”

A vote on the budget by the full House is expected to take place this week.