Save our state environmental budgets. Vote NO on 1033

This may be the most important vote you may make in years. Initiative 1033 proposes to limit state and local government spending at current recessionary levels and to base any increases in future years on a rigid formula or on voter approval. The effect would be an estimated $6 billion reduction by 2015 in state general fund revenues alone, seriously reducing education, health, social services and environmental programs, not to mention reductions in local government services.

Initiative 1033 aims to lock in state and local government spending at this year’s recession levels. It proposes to establish this year’s state and local government budgets as a base line and to limit increases in subsequent years’ budgets to a formula based on inflation and population growth. Any state or local government revenues exceeding a year’s budgetary limit would be returned to property owners as a property tax cut. If state or local governments want to exceed the limits imposed by the initiative, they can do so if they receive the majority approval of voters.

What’s wrong with Initiative 1033 and why it should be soundly defeated:

• The national recession forced $1.5 billion in cuts to education, caused 35,000 people to lose health insurance and cost thousands of jobs. By limiting state, counties and city budgets to recession-era levels, those cuts would become permanent.

• I-1033 would force even deeper cuts in the future, because the state’s ability to provide services wouldn’t go up with costs and demand.

• I-1033’s formula is rigid and arbitrary and would only cause more cutbacks in services. The costs of many services go up faster than the rate of inflation — in particular education and health care. The independent Washington Budget & Policy Center estimates that I-1033’s formula would provide just 38 percent of the revenue necessary to continue to fund public education at current levels.

• I-1033’s formula for population growth doesn’t take into account that certain areas of our population will cost the state more than others. The state’s growing senior population will need more medical care and services, but I-1033’s formula doesn’t take that into account.

• The non-partisan Washington State Office of Financial Management found that “…the initiative reduces state general fund revenues that support education; social, health and environmental services; and general government activities by an estimated $5.9 billion by 2015.”

One Response

  1. Hello — can Heart of America NW cross-post this on our blog? Thanks!

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