We face stark choices in Washington State this year about our future and the things we value. For example:
- Do we put college out of reach for more than 10,000 low-income students by cutting their financial aid — or do we close unjustified tax loopholes?
- Do we kick hundreds of thousands of people (including 16,000 kids) off of health insurance — or explore new sources of revenue?
These are the kinds of choices our legislators will face when they return to Olympia on January 11th. They’ll be deciding how to close the $2.6 billion revenue gap our state faces due to the recession.
And you can bet they’ll be listening for your opinion.
That’s why the Economic Opportunity Institute is joining dozens of organizations across Washington State to call on legislators to take a balanced approach to this year’s budget by closing unjustified tax exemptions and raising other sources of revenue to fund important public structures.
Will you join us by signing on to this petition?: http://www.fusewashington.org/page/s/firstdayaction
Last year the legislature cut $3.6 billion from the state budget for 2009 -2011. Those spending reductions have cut deeply into the muscle and bone of our education and healthcare systems, programs that support kids, the elderly and disabled, and projects that clean up toxic waste sites and protect clean air and water.
This year, an additional $2.6 billion in cuts would be simply devastating — with impacts like:
- 100,000 additional Washington State citizens losing their health insurance – including 16,000 children – and the total number of uninsured in our state will top one million;
- Swelling class sizes, cuts in early learning programs for children under 5, less wealthy school districts losing funding, and more than 10,000 students priced out of a college education;
- 85,000 seniors no longer be able to afford their medication;
- 50,000 pregnant mothers going without critical prenatal support;
- Programs to protect clean water and clean up toxic pollution abandoned by the state;
- Working parents across the state losing access to subsidized childcare, threatening their ability to work
There is a better way forward – one that doesn’t balance the budget on the backs of working families, our kids, the most vulnerable, and the environment. But to prevent these devastating cuts the Governor and your legislators need to hear from you!
The petition will be delivered this Monday – so please sign on today: http://www.fusewashington.org/page/s/firstdayaction
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The way our state raises money is not fair. A wealth tax would help right that wrong.