The Washington state legislature is still engrossed in a special Session. The House passed a budget yesterday that avoided major cuts to education, but kept the new proposed accounting system for sales-tax receipts collected on behalf of cities, counties and other local governments. This keeps sales tax money in state’s general fund longer for other spending on one-time basis. In other words, the House has no new solutions.
The Senate Ways & Means Committee is considering bills related to budget matters, that impact education and state workers benefits. Their discussion is centering on the House’s budget bill and reaching a compromise on what cuts are acceptable or what accounting measures could temporarily plug the budget hole. This is an unacceptable answer! Taxing the wealth of corporations and individuals is still needed and possible. Washington State must also petition the federal government to cut war and defense spending and re-direct it to suffering states.
I urge you to communicate these views to members of Ways & Means committee right away. Feel free to use or revise the sample message at the bottom of this message. Follow the email link and paste your message into the contact form.
Ways & Means committee members:
Thanks for taking action,
Sisters Organize for Survival Coordinator
Subject: NO CONCESSIONS on workers’ retirement & benefits, education and safety net programs!
As budget negotiations continue to be compromised, I call on you to hold the line to preserve workers’ pension and benefits, education and social safety net programs. For a healthy and humane state, there can be NO CONCESSIONS on:
— education at all levels
— public jobs, employee benefits and pensions
— childcare services, language interpretation and all human services
The way to fund these programs is to tax Washington’s wealthy corporations and rich individuals. Rather than manipulating funding to schools, the budget should refuse to pay the interest owed on the state debt. Rather than undermining pensions, the budget should declare a one-year moratorium on tax loopholes that enrich corporations but don’t produce jobs.
If legislators can’t reach consensus on these issues, I urge you to put out the call to unions, the Occupy movement, feminists, parents, teachers, youth, the unemployed, and people living in poverty to come out and back you with the call for a no-cuts budget. Do not allow band-aid “solutions” to be the outcome of yet another legislative session. Do better by the people of Washington State !