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Eye On Olympia

The budget: details…

Total budget (two years): $31.4 billion.

-Ending fund balance: $830 million.

K-12 schools: total spending: $13.4 billion

-net cut after federal stimulus dollars are included: $794 million
-I-732 suspended for two years
-I-728 reduced by $600 million
-K-4 class-size reduction fully funded
-Average per school district cut : $2.6 percent
-one learning improvement day is eliminated: $35.7 million
-school district levy capacity increased by 4 percent, capping at 35 percent

Higher Education

-reduction, after tuition increse: 7 percent at UW/WSU, 6.5 percent at regional universities like EWU, 6 percent at community colleges
-tuition raised 14 percent at 4-year schools, 7 percent at community colleges
-enrollments eliminated: 9,028
-state need grant is fully funded
-total financial aid increase: $52 million

Health Care:

-Basic Health Plan — attrition of 40,000 enrollees, saving $255 million
-no reductions to Medicare Part D premium support
-no reduction to adult vision care

Human Services:

-“General Assistance (for the Unemployable, or GA-U) is preserved — more focus on getting the right services to people”
-Long-term care programs: rate reduction of about approximately 4 percent
-Adult day health: in-home services are preserved

Corrections/Juvenile Rehabilitation/Institutions

-“Public safety concerns were tantamount in making savings - public defenders and law enforcement in support”
-“No specific institutions are closed.”

Natural Resources:

-No parks closed; all revenues from a $5 voluntary, annual fee per car goes toward maintenance and operation of parks
-No hatcheries will be closed unless there is not enough revenue from fees

Compensation/Employment:

-“Agencies are encouraged to use strategies such as reduced work schedules, use of voluntary leave without pay, and temporary furloughs that enable employees to maintain permanent employee status, full insurance benefits, full accrual of retirement service credit and a living wage.”
-Administrative cuts totaling roughly $250 million.

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Richard Roesler covers Washington state news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Olympia.

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