With our governor pushing us to approve a tax to keep from having further cuts in public education, it was time to look into the numbers – and it is shocking!
The annual budget 1999-2001 was $45 billion. In 2009-2011 it was $71 billion – a 57 percent increase.
Historic numbers for staff show prior to our current governor, we averaged 34 employees directly to the governor. Now 52 are needed. The budget for the governor increased by $4 million dollars annually since 2005.
WSHCA’s charter is to provide health insurance to the low-income citizens of our state. An annual average budget of $310 million for taking care of those in need has now jumped to $5.4 billion a year! Our state population is only 6.7 million, that works out to be about $800 per person.
More massive budget increases: state auditor – $25 million, Innovate Washington (new in 2011) – $8 million, Forensics Investigations Council – $266 million, Department of Enterprise Services – $477 million, Administrative Office of the Courts – $67 million.
The teachers’ union and the state education system are not without fault. However, in order to have the education system work with the voters and government as a vested party to reshape our state’s obviously failing outdated system, perhaps a best effort attempt in its own house first would be wise.
A 10 percent budget reduction would save over $1.165 billion annually before looking into WSHCA.
Shame on you, governor, and all legislators; you fail!