State Budget Passes... More Work Needed!
After 179 days and into the third special session of the 2017 Washington State legislature, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law a two-year budget shortly before midnight on the evening of June 30, less than an hour before the state would have entered a first-ever partial government shutdown.
During the extra long session, you made a huge difference. Here are some of the highlights:
- Governor Inslee included a capital gains tax proposal in his initial budget proposal, following pressure from All In for Washington partners like Spokane Alliance.
- The House Budget utilized the strongest example to date of All In messaging that we didn’t write ourselves, and was full of policies to rid our state of tax breaks for special interests in order to invest in the foundations of thriving communities.
- With the All In For Action coalition, you helped generate 133 pieces of media - including this one and this one featuring Spokane Alliance leaders - throughout the course of the legislative session across 51 print, TV, radio, and online outlets.
- We showed up by the hundreds at rallies, marches, hearings, town halls - including 60 Spokane Alliance members at the June 22 Day of Action - and generated thousands of emails and phone calls to legislators
- Now legislators and the media are picking up our language on the upside-down tax code.
- Early in session, our efforts halted attempts to make the budget even more upside-down through a statewide sales tax increase.
- The final budget made some good investments for Washington’s future, and we were able to close several tax breaks benefiting powerful special interests, including the extracted fuel tax break.
- Last minute, the legislature included a new tax break to manufacturers with the final budget package. Springing into action we called on the Governor to not cave to pressure from special interests and use his line-item veto power. TSthe Governor responded, vetoing the measure and saving taxpayers tens of millions of dollars annually.
Despite these victories, the final budget failed to address our upside-down tax code in a significant way. While ultimately disappointing, we knew at the outset that the 2017 session was just one step in the long race to fix our state’s tax code, the most upside-down in the nation.
It’s up to us to keep the pressure on. We are already planning how to engage in the 2018 legislature, and how to revamp our tax code so that it works for all of us.
It’s a big and audacious job, but we think Washington state’s future is worth it--and we know you do too. You helped push our message out loud and clear throughout the state: it’s time to address our upside-down tax code!
But we need more: more people, more courage, more ideas!
- Spokane Alliance leaders will be holding briefings in our member institutions so that more of our members are informed and ready to take action. If you are interested in holding a briefing in your institution, contact Carol.
- The Spokane Alliance All in for Washington team meets on the third Wednesday of every month. The next meeting is Wednesday, August 16, 5:00 - 6:30 PM at Liberty Park UMC, 1526 E 11th Ave, Spokane.