Monday, August 2, 2021

Play

Hundreds of thousands of Medi-Cal recipients are paying monthly premiums when they donít have to; Dr. Fauci predicts the pandemic will get worse.

Play

The Texas voting rights fight gets star power; lawmakers stage a sit-in as the eviction moratorium expires; and Senators work overtime on infrastructure.

Public Investments Key to WA Governor's Recovery Vision

Play

Thursday, January 14, 2021   

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Jay Inslee was sworn in for his third term as Washington state governor and delivered his State of the State address Wednesday.

Inslee focused on the COVID-19 crisis and laid out a vision for an equitable recovery from the pandemic.

Misha Werschkul, executive director of the Washington State Budget and Policy Center, said the governor's proposed budget, released in December, outlines investments in public services and prioritizes racial equity, but her group sees it as just a start on the path toward an equitable recovery.

"What I would say, though, is that in many cases, his budget doesn't go far enough to be able to really make that vision that he laid out a reality, in the short term," Werschkul contended.

Inslee's budget, for instance, includes a one-time investment of $10 million into the Immigrant Worker Relief Fund. The Washington State Budget and Policy Center thinks lawmakers should invest in a permanent income-support program for undocumented workers.

The group also suggested the Legislature invest more money in programs like Housing and Essential Needs, to improve access to affordable housing and prevent homelessness.

However, the state faces a massive budget shortfall because of the pandemic, which is leading to calls for cuts.

Werschkul noted cuts did not bode well for states in the wake of the Great Recession.

"If what we really want to do is get our economy back on track, the best way to do that is actually to have more public spending and investment in communities," Werschkul asserted. "Getting that money flowing is going to be what helps our economy, long term."

Hers, and other progressive groups, are urging lawmakers to make the state's tax system more equitable. Washington's wealthiest residents have some of the lowest tax rates in the country.

The governor spoke frankly about racial inequities in Washington state.

Werschkul added that frank discussion will help the state prioritize communities of color.

"I do think it's really important that both the governor and the Legislature are talking about processes that are more equitable, in terms of the development of the state budget," Werschkul concluded.


get more stories like this via email

Of the Massachusetts users who consulted the website 'iFixit.com' last year, 23% of searches were for cellphone repair guides, and 17% were for laptops. (NorGal/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

ROSLINDALE, Mass. - A new report finds Massachusetts residents would rather repair electronic devices than send them to landfills, but manufacturers …


Social Issues

DENVER-During the COVID health emergency, the federal government made school meals available for free to all students, regardless of their financial …

Social Issues

HELENA, Mont. - COVID-19 is underscoring the importance of ensuring that people's estates are in order, but estate planning can be be tricky for …


New Mexico Voices for Children says, as in many states, families of color in New Mexico were hit hard by the pandemic, in terms of school closures and job losses. (nappy.co)

Social Issues

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Pandemic fallout still has U.S. states clawing their way back to normalcy, and New Mexico believes its decision to provide more …

Social Issues

AMARILLO, Texas - The American Farm Bureau Federation hosts more than 100 college level chapters across 35 states, but this is the first time its …

According to FBI data, U.S. law enforcement agencies made an estimated 1,558,862 drug related arrests in 2019. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. - As activists mark more than 100 days of protest since the April 21 death of Andrew Brown Junior - killed outside his Elizabeth …

Health and Wellness

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Local health departments that rely heavily on Advanced Practice Registered Nurses say the costly contract requirement that they be …

Social Issues

SACRAMENTO, Calif - Hundreds of thousands of Medi-Cal recipients who experienced financial hardship during the pandemic are paying monthly premiums …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021