May 24, 2011

Compromise budget unveiled

Legislative leaders of both parties this morning unveiled their compromise budget (ESHB 1087). But our focus still needs to be on fighting attacks on collective bargaining and on your competitive contracting rights – all of which are part of the budget debate.

Presumably, the budget will go to quick floor debates without public hearings as lawmakers rush to finish business by the end of the 30-day special session tomorrow.

In a moment, we’ll give you highlights of the budget and how it affects Federation members. But keep in mind, a lot of the budget depends on other legislation we still need to oppose.


So before the details, the call to action.


  Call your legislators at 1-800-562-6000 and urge them to oppose the Wisconsin-style attacks on collective bargaining and competitive contracting rights in ESSB 5931 and SHB 2122. Also, oppose 2SSB 5459 (the RHC consolidation bill) until it’s fixed to protect the choice and safety of all RHC residents.


FYI. We’re in a state of flux, so we’re following the Corrections bill, ESSB 5891, which is still awaiting a vote of the House.



OK, here goes in no particular order:

  • Contracts. The budget gets there and OKs the negotiated contracts, including the University of Washington and Washington State University. It also basically extends the temporary 3 percent pay cuts for those earning more than $30,000 a year to the Community College Coalition and The Evergreen State College and other units where no contract agreement has been deemed to be reached. There are no additional furloughs for higher-earning state employees.

  • Management efficiencies. The budget calls for management reductions of 7 percent to 10 percent, including delayering and streamlining of support functions.

  • Residential habilitation centers. Budget language is tied to 2SSB 5459, so that’s why it’s so important to get calls in. The budget would close Frances Haddon Morgan Center by Dec. 31. Other reductions would come from such things as cottage closures and layoffs and reducing case managers and case management.


Medical interpreters. The budget has language with protections for all sides that essentially approves funding for the first interpreters contract for 2011-2013 if the union and state reach agreement on it. A new system of service delivery will be in place no later than January 2012.


Juvenile rehabilitation. Maple Lane School is closed by June 30. Other reductions in JRA parole services and institutions costs.


Natural resources. Proceeds from the new Discover Pass will fund parks, Fish and Wildlife and Natural Resources programs.

  • Higher education funding is reduced $535.5 million.

  • Disability Lifeline is ended Oct. 31. 

  • Children’s Administration staff is reduced by 244 – largely tied to the contracting out allowed by HB 2122 – so get those calls in to oppose.

  • Mental health. It’s unclear if the budget language cuts the forensics unit at Western State Hospital, but continue to get calls in against SB 5114.

  • Special Commitment Center. Funding provides a takeover of island operations on McNeil Island now that the prison is closed. Funds are reduced to reflect a modification in the staffing models for the Secure Community Transitional Facilities (SCTF).


Basic Health Plan. Admissions are frozen. About 37,000 will be in the plan the first year and 33,000 the second.

  • Corrections. The budget would eliminate tolling (or pausing the term of community custody). It would reduce funding by reducing supervision of offenders on a first-time offender waiver. And he budget would eliminate supervision of offenders from jail who have a low or moderate risk profile, including misdemeanor sex offenders and felony sex offenders. This is still tied to SB 5891, which is in a state of flux.

  • PERS 1 COLAs are eliminated.
For more details:

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