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House, Senate budget-writers make it hard to compare cuts

Post by News Tribune Staff on March 31, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
March 31, 2009 2:11 pm

The House and Senate have come up with differing ways to close the same $9 billion budget shortfall that is projected over the next 28 months. Each budget has thousands of elements and strict comparisons are difficult to make. The list below is my feeble effort to compare and contrast some of them.


I’m not going to compare the House and Senate budget cuts to what the governor proposed in mid-December because the Legislature had to fill a $1 billion bigger hole than the governor. State revenues had fallen by $2.9 billion more, but the state got $2 billion more in federal funds.


(I’ve numbered each item only so you can compare them.)


HOUSE BUDGET PROPOSAL

1. Leaves $852 million in savings.

2. Public school and state agency job cuts: Unknown. Could be 7,000.

3. Tuition: Allows 10 percent hikes for four-year colleges; 7 percent for two-year colleges.

4. Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment Support Act and General Assistance Unemployable programs: Cut medical coverage by $35 million out of current $250 million.

5. Keeps McNeil Island prison open.

6. Close Naselle Youth Camp by Jan. 1, 2010.

7. Freezes pay for state and public school employees for two years.

8. Cuts overall higher education funding by $683 million.

9. Cuts overall K-12 funding by $625 million.

10. Parks: Assumes a $5 voluntary fee on license tabs. Seasonal closures.

11. Federal stimulus: Spends $3 billion.

12. Extra money to reduce class size: Cut from $458 per student to $184 in 2009-10 and to $152 in 2010-11.

13. Open 15 new liquor stores.

14. Adult Day Health program for low-income seniors: Eliminated.

15. Basic Health Plan: State subsidy continues for about 65,000 people, down from 106,000.

16. No estimate for cuts to college enrollment, but leaves decision to universities.

17. Lets 50 percent of ex-cons who violate terms of release from jail spend punishment time in home detention.


SENATE BUDGET PROPOSAL



1. Leaves $854 million in savings.

2. Public school and state agency job cuts: Estimated at 7,000.

3. Tuition: Allows 7 percent hikes for four-year colleges; 5 percent for two-year colleges.

4. Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment Support Act and General Assistance Unemployable: Cut medical coverage by $59 million out of $250 million.

5. Close McNeil Island prison July 1, 2010.

6. Close Green Hill juvenile detention center.

7. Freezes pay for state and public school employees for two years.

8. Cuts overall higher education funding by $513 million.

9. Cuts overall K-12 funding by $877 million.

10. Parks: Assumes a $5 voluntary fee on license tabs. No closures.

11. Federal stimulus: Spends $3 billion.

12. Extra money to reduce class size: Cut from $458 per student to $31 per student.

13. Open 15 new liquor stores.

14. Adult Day Health program for 1,900 low-income seniors: Reduced to those who live in own homes — a more than 50 percent cut.

15. Basic Health Plan: State subsidy continues for about 65,000 people, down from 106,000.

16. Estimated cut of 10,500 to college enrollment, but leaves decision to universities.

17. Lets 25 percent of ex-cons who violate terms of their release from jail spend punishment time in home detention.

Categories:
State budget
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