December 18, 2008 in Region

Proposed local cuts and spending

By The Spokesman-Review
 

OLYMPIA _ Here’s a look at some of the biggest cuts, local cuts, and some new local spending contained in Gov. Chris Gregoire’s proposed budget:

Major cuts

Education:

•do away with cost-of-living raises for teachers and other school staffers for the next two years: $349 million.

•eliminate a variety of school pilot programs, including the reading corps, civics curriculum, and math helping corps: $23 million.

•“suspend” about a quarter of the money for class-size reduction: $178 million.

Higher Education:

•across-the-board cuts of up to 13 percent at four-year colleges and 6 percent at community and technical colleges. The colleges can decide what to cut, although effects may include cutting faculty, cutting support staff and offering fewer classes. Savings: $342 million.

•doing away with faculty and staff cost-of-living raises at community and technical colleges: $33.4 million.

Human services:

•do away with the Adult Day Health program, which serves about 1,900 elderly and developmentally disabled people: $20 million.

•reduce nursing home reimbursement rates by 5 percent: $46 million.

•shrink mental health funding for Regional Support Networks: $31 million.

•toughen accountability for welfare recipients and push them into jobs quicker: $30 million.

Health care:

•stop buying vaccines for children not covered by Medicaid: $50 million.

•cut the state’s Basic Health Plan for the working poor by 42 percent and shrink the things it will cover.

•halt plans to let parents buy state-subsidized health coverage if they’re between 250 percent and 300 percent of poverty level. For a family of 4, that’s $53,000 to $63,600 per year. Savings: $6 million.

•eliminate General Assistance for the Unemployable, which provides health care and issues checks of up to $339 a month to thousands of people. Savings: $251 million.

•cut hospital reimbursement rates by 4 percent: $47 million.

Natural resources:

•close 7 yet-to-be-determined fish hatcheries: $7 million.

•close 13 yet-to-be-determned state parks, plus other parks during off-peak seasons: $5 million.

Law enforcement:

•shortening probation and eliminating probation supervision for misdemeanors and low-risk felonies: $69 million.

•shrinking drug and alcohol treatment: $11 million.

Local cuts or changes:

•cut the Spokane Intercollegiate Research and Technology Institute budget by 9 percent.

•reduce state funding for the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture by 10 percent and merge it with the Washington State Historical Society, saving $500,000 a year.

•tuition at Eastern Washington University and Washington State University can rise up to 7 percent a year, and 5 percent at community colleges.

Proposed new spending on local projects:

•$32.3 million for a technical education building at Spokane Community College.

•$29.3 million for a new chemistry and life sciences building at Spokane Falls Community College.

•$9.7 million to renovate the old science building at Spokane Community College.

•$13.8 million to renovate Spokane Falls Community College’s music building 15.

•$250,000 for predesign work for a new building to replace SFCC’s current photography and fine arts buildings.

•$28 million to renovate and expand Eastern Washington University’s Patterson Hall.

•$400,000 for predesign work on a replacement to Eastern’s 46-year-old science building.

•$7.4 million for work on a biomedical sciences facility at Washington State University’s Pullman campus.

•$250,000 for predesign work on a new biomedical and health sciences building at WSU’s Riverpoint campus in Spokane.

•$586,000 to research Spokane-area water rights.

•$144,000 for predesign work on a new maintenance facility at Mount Spokane State Park.

Richard Roesler can be reached at (360) 664- 2598 or by e-mail at richr@spokesman.com


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