Do the Math: WA Revenue Can’t Cover Our Basic Responsibilities

Uncontrollable costs for 2015-2017 are going up by at least: $5.7 Billion

Additional revenue for 2015-2017:  $2.7 Billion


Difference: $3.0 Billion

Special Education Elementary Teacher Mrs. Emerson (Woodinville) has got it revenue graph_001right when she says costs are going up but there’s not sufficient new revenue to cover Washington’s basic responsibilities to the people. In the next 2 years, there will be at least $2.6 Billion additional costs for providing the same level of services due to inflation, rising fuel and energy costs, increases in the number of kids in our schools, and changing demographics such as the aging of baby boomers PLUS another $3.1 Billion for mandated costs, including fixing overcrowded classrooms and funding K-12 education.

As Mrs. Emerson math shows, that doesn’t even include restoring the last half-decade of billions cut from our essential services resulting in:

According to the Governor’s proposal, without new revenue Washington State will be forced to make another $1.8 Billion in cuts from the 2015-2017 budget such as:


  • Eliminate 1,391 ECEAP (Early Learning) Slots ($20,856,000)
  • Cut in School District Equalization Grants ($261,673,000)
  • Cut in Reduce State Need Grant  ($256,000,000)
  • 10% Reduction to Higher Education Institutions  ($141,441,000)
  • Cut in Opportunity Scholarship ($30,000,000)


  • Suspend Local Public Safety Enhance ($20,000,000)
  • Allow 150 Days Early Release ($115,428,000)
  • Change Jail Demarc Line 22 Months ($69,647,000)
  • Eliminate Supervision of Jail Drug ($16,610,000)
  • Cut Earned Time Credits to 50 Percent ($18,424,000)


  • Delay Nursing Home Rebase (inflation adjustments) ($58,778,000)
  • Cut Extended Foster Care ($16,227,000)
  • Not Fund Working Families Tax Exemption ($106,447,000)

It’s clear Washington’s inadequate and unreliable revenue system weakens our communities by forcing cuts in vital services that affect everyone’s quality of life. A fair, accountable and shared revenue system makes our economy more resilient, promotes economic growth and competition, and creates opportunities for all Washingtonians.