March 30, 2010

What if lawmakers do nothing?

As we told you last week, the governor has said she will not call legislators back for another 30-day special session if they don’t put together a budget and revenue deal by the end of this 30-day session, set to end no later than April 13. 

If that happens, she will revert to her all-cuts budget. 

Here are some examples that the governor’s office gave KING-5 news in Seattle if legislators can’t come to agreement and the governor inflicts across-the-board cuts of 20 percent:
  • Between 17,500 and 21,500 (of 69,000) Basic Health Plan slots.
  • A cut of 55 Child Protective Services workers in DSHS.
  • A cut of 57,000 student slots in state colleges and universities.
  • Cutting funding for 6,422 prisoners, 19,000 offenders in community supervision and closing Pine Lodge Corrections Center in Medical Lake and five other DOC facilities.
Said Rep. Bob Hasegawa of the 11th District: “I could pretty much guarantee people will die.” 

That’s why legislators must come to a sensible agreement on revenue and the budget.


    So here are the important calls to action:
  • REVENUE AND LOOPHOLES:  Call 1-800-562-6000 and urge legislators to raise revenue and close tax loophole in the final state budget, ESSB 6444.

    If you want more specifics:

    • Add $150 million in additional revenue by supporting HB 3181 (the Clean Water Act of 2010) to increase the tax on hazardous substances and HB 3021 (establishing the Medicaid nursing facility quality assurance trust fund).

    • Raise $50 million by closing the tax exemption big banks—mostly based outside this state—receive on first home mortgages.
  • HEALTH CARE:  Call 1-800-562-6000. Tell legislators to fund state worker health insurance with at least $65 million in General Fund-State funds in the final budget (ESSB 6444) for state employee health care. And no mandate to bargain over premiums! Instead, close tax loopholes on big out-of-state banks in the final state budget (ESSB 6444) so we can keep health care funded, stable and affordable for our families.
  • RESIDENTIAL HABILITATION CENTERS:  Urge your legislators to oppose SB 6182, the RHC wipeout bill.
  • INSTITUTIONS CLOSURES:  The Senate and House budgets are far apart, and this is an area where a rush to a final compromise could throw institutions under the bus. The Senate generally wants to close more state RHCs, JRA facilities and Corrections centers than the House. But they’re all at risk in the short term (Frances Haddon Morgan Center, Maple Lane School, Pine Lodge Corrections Center for Women) and long run (all RHCs, most JRA, Pine Lodge). Urge your legislators to oppose closures of state institutions in the supplemental budget (ESSB 6444)!

Log onto the state Legislature’s site ( and click “Find Your Legislator” at ( ) and put in your address, city and zip. You’ll then get the names of your three legislators with phone number and a link to send an e-mail.

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