Governor Christine Gregoire this week announced a supplemental budget proposal to fill a $2 billion state budget shortfall. Gov. Gregoire wants lawmakers to put a referendum on the March ballot asking for a temporary half-penny boost in the sales tax, which would bring in nearly $500 million a year. The tax would expire after three years and largely would go toward education, with smaller amounts for public safety and social services.
The governor's proposal came after she outlined more than 160 proposed budget cuts to fill the gap. The cuts included eliminating state-subsidized health insurance for the working poor; reducing the K-12 school year by four days; and allowing early release of prisoners who are at low to moderate risk of reoffending. The Governor’s budget proposal acknowledged a need for more investment in engineering education and proposes $7.6 million to expand enrollment in engineering programs at the state’s universities.
The legislature will meet in a special session starting Nov. 28 to consider the budget proposal.
Read more: Seattle Times 11/22
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