Comparison of the House and Senate Budget proposals

The Washington State Legislature is currently in special session to negotiate and pass a budget for the 2014-2015 biennium. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the House and Senate versions of the expense side of the budget. The House is essentially a Democratic budget, as they have a majority there. The Senate budget is essentially a Republican document, as the majority is a coalition of the Republican senators and two renegade Democratic senators.

For a Democratic commentary on the choices that need to be made, read Reps. Mike Sells and Hans Dunshee’s op-ed HERE.

Expense choices made in the 2014-15 House and Senate budget proposals:

Dollars in Millions, Details are examples, not all HOUSE SENATE
Economic Security -$166.0 -$247.0
Paid family/Medical Leave Suspended -$13.6 -$13.6
Child care assistance to help low income families find or keep a job $28.7 -$17.4
Prevent low income families from becoming homeless $8.0 no funding
Reduction to partner organizations that help facilitate the WorkFirst program no cut -$14.5
Food assistance for low income immigrant families no funding $9.4
Thriving Communities $29.0 -$368.0
Maintaining state parks $23.7 $7.0
Safe neighborhoods through prevention of alcohol, drug abuse and violence (Community Mobilization Grants) No cut -1.8 (eliminated)
Ensuring accountability in state government by measuring performance No cut -2.7 (eliminated)
Housing support $7.0 -$23.0
Housing and essential needs for people who cannot work due to disability No cut -$30.0
Legal services for people with low incomes (Civil Legal Aid) No cut -$3.0
Healthy People & Environment $210.0 $36.0
Medicaid expansion Savings of approx. $260 Savings of approx. $300
Adult dental services Full restoration $23.9 $9.8
Assistance to grandparents raising children (Kinship Caregiver) No cut Eliminated -$2.1
Protect seniors and people with disabilities from neglect and abuse $1.1 not funded
Clean up of environmental toxic sites (shifting funds out of Model Toxics Control Act) -$24.0 -$24.0
Safe water, clean air, protected land (Ecology) NA -$12.6
Education & Opportunity $1,118.0 $718.0
Early Learning Access and Affordability Expand access by 1880 slots: $45.1 Access + 860; reimbursement -10.3%: $23.8
Learning Assistance Program for struggling students $22.8 $240.0
Bilingual education for English language learners $12.0 $5.7
TOTAL McCleary investment $1.2 Billion $760 Million
K-3 class size reduction $225.0 n/a
Implementation of all-day kindergarten $90.0 $43.0

Source: Washington Budget and Policy Center

The revenue side of the budget is a little trickier to decipher and explain. I will try to do a similar comparison in a future post.