Wednesday, December 9, 2009

On the state chopping block, "property-poor" School Districts, Red Districts with Republican Reps

The Gov submitted the required balanced budget. She has identified programs that both could be cut, but should be funded. As I mention a few days ago, those that "have not" will not have school district levy equalization money scooped up from all over the state (via the general fund) and given to district that either do not have the tax base for levies, or have chosen not to raise taxes. The last group, usually represented by like minded Republicans will be beggng on the House and Senate floor for a redistribution of wealth.
Her budget would eliminate the Basic Health Plan, a state-subsidized insurance program for the working poor, saving about $161 million over the next fiscal year. About 65,000 people are current enrolled.

Also zeroed out would be the General Assistance-Unemployable (GAU) program, which provides a temporary safety net for people unable to work because of mental or physical disabilities. That would save $207 million.

It would suspend funding for school levy equalization, which provides money to "property-poor" school districts, saving $143 million, and suspend state-subsidized all-day kindergarten, saving another $33.6 million. State-subsidized all-day kindergarten has been offered at a few school districts with the intent of expanding the program.

The budget also would cut $146 million in financial aid for college students and lower the qualifying income threshold from 70 percent of median family income to 50 percent. That means the money would only go to low-income families. The size of the grants would be smaller as well.

All told, the governor's budget would reduce spending by about $1.7 billion. The rest of the $2.6 billion shortfall would be filled by shifting money from certain funds and tapping reserves.
read the story here, in Seattle Times, Facing $2.6 billion shortfall, Gregoire to seek tax increase to balance budget

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

Sent from my iPhone
Visit me here:


Peter said...

i wrote dow a e-mail november 18th and still haven't gotten a response. i know he is a busy man, but do you think he'll get back to me?

Mr Baker said...

He might not get back to you. Dow was on KUOW's "Weekday" show last Thursday. He briefly mentioned that he was working with Ross Humter on some legislation, not likely this, but he is working with the legislature to try to solve some of the countys' revenue problems.

Your (and my) email can't hurt.

Peter said...

yeah but assuming dow's right about ballmer still being in, and he's gonna do what he says, and attempt to meet ballmer halfway, 6116 almost has to be brought back up in 2010, right?

Mr Baker said...


Peter said...

you wrote this on SC:
"Xteve is right about McGinn, not so sure about Dow"

Does this mean you're starting to have doubts about dow's ability or desire to find a solution?

Mr Baker said...

"Does this mean you're starting to have doubts about dow's ability or desire to find a solution?"

No, I doubted his ability and desire the entire time. He will not get in the way, though, and he will not build up a full group of legislators that don't like him before any meaningful legislation could get passed this short session.

I think the level of dislike for McGinn by the legislature will grow rapidly as we approach the building of the tunnel, a year from now.

In the mean time, if legislation is passed then the city council will make this happen. they already are working on the Memorial Stadium portion with a funding source.

I think that if anybody that is not in the legislature, that would actually work to make the legislation happen, I would say it is Dow and the city council.

Mr Baker said...

"He will not get in the way, though, and he will not build up a full group of legislators that don't like him before any meaningful legislation could get passed this short session."

should say "McGinn"

I think Dow will be helpfull, McGinn, not so much.

Peter said...

so, is dow just blowing smoke or will dow match his rhetoric and have something secretly in the works to pass 6116? i know i probably took too much from the Dow KJR-AM interview, but it seems like when balmer first got in, there was a lot of quiet before it. when there are things in the works, people in power tend to keep them secret. tacoma passing 30 million for cheney stadium is a great example. they announced that and the city council passed it 2 weeks later.

Mr Baker said...

I do not think Dow is "blowing smoke". I am not going by what he has said while campaigning and being interviewed on KJR.

listening to this interview from just over a week ago it is pretty clear that he is working pretty hard with the legislature to get something resolved.
if that includes SB6116 is anybody's guess.
Most likely he would want the ability to use a utility tax, like cities do.

Peter said...

but will anything dow gets done include keyarena or a new arena, or at least provide money for future qwest/safeco redos? if it dosen't do both, it's useless to me.

Mr Baker said...

The things in SB6116 will get less, and less, funding from the city, and are almost completely absent from the county budget now.
He has to stop the bleeding budget for core services, after that he has to stop the bleeding of non-core services.

One thing that is a core service, metro, draws from the general fund, I expect the mass transit folks to be unexpected help.
We shall see.

Blog Feeds