News and Views: State budget and revenue, economic benefits to higher ed, and lower-income unemployment

ShareWashington state’s budget deficit swells more, but revenue picture improves | Washington’s budget deficit grew to about $2.8 billion, but early signs of an economic recovery are making the state’s financial future a bit brighter. The new deficit figure stems from Friday’s report of the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council, which formulates the official estimate of future state tax collections. The report showed a state economy that appears to be stabilizing, with growth in state revenues returning over the next few years. | Everett Herald

Why I-960 is unworkable in this grim reality | Standing between Democrats in the state Legislature and their vote to increase taxes to help close a $2.2 budget shortfall is Initiative 960, passed by voters in November 2007. The simple truth is this: The bottom has fallen out of the economy since voters approved the tax-limiting initiative more than two years ago. The landscape has shifted. | The Olympian

University centers create economic opportunity | As the budget picture worsens, higher education is again a target for policymakers, even as they argue that their top priority is economic recovery. If lawmakers want to grow the economy and revive the state’s workforce, they should be investing in higher education — not steadily withdrawing state support from our colleges and universities. | Everett Herald

The Worst of the Pain | When it comes to employment, there are roughly three broad categories in the United States. The folks in the upper-income group are not suffering much, if at all, from the profound reversals in employment brought about by the Great Recession. Those in the middle have been hit hard. The job losses there have been severe and long-lasting. But for those in the lower-income groups, the scale of the employment crisis has been mind-boggling. | New York Times

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