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State League Reports on Special Session

The Legislature adjourned the special legislative session on Wednesday, December 14th. The Early Action Budget Bill (Substitute House Bill 2058) reduces the state budget shortfall by $480 million through a combination of cuts, fund transfers and a small amount of additional revenue from the sale of unclaimed property. The regular session begins on January 9, 2012 and legislators will continue work to close the remaining $1.5 billion budget gap.
Budget Issues
During the week before Christmas, please take a minute to contact your legislators and the Governor about your budget concerns and your support for raising revenues to fill the budget holes. Strategies still under discussion include:
Increasing the sales tax by a small amount for a defined time period.
Securitization of bonds.
Closing tax loopholes.
Imposing a capital gains tax.
League Position: State Tax Policy Action to obtain a balanced tax structure that is fair, adequate, flexible and has a sound economic effect.
ACTION: Along with contacting your legislators and the Governor about the need to raise revenue, talk with your friends, neighbors, relatives— everyone—and ask them to also contact your legislators and the Governor with the same message. Legislators and the Governor need to hear from all of us!
LWVWA Contact: Pat Dickason, Action Chair, 360 753-7647


Children and Family Issues
Washington State just won a $60 million federal Race to the Top early learning grant to improve child care and early learning. This grant depends on $1.3 million of state funding for the Child Care Resource and Referral Network. The Governor’s supplemental budget proposal eliminates this funding.
League Position: Action to improve and support child care quality and access for low-income families.
ACTION: Contact your legislators and the Governor before January 9th to request they support maintaining $1.3 million in state funds for this critical child care and early learning program.
LWVWA Contact: Margie Reeves; Karen Tvedt; Pat Dickason; Children and Family Portfolio

This is our last Legislative Newsletter for 2011. We’ll be back with more weekly Newsletters in January: your Lobby Team will work to keep you informed about League positions and legislative activities throughout the 2012 Session. We’ll recommend actions for you to take to support the League of Women Voters of Washington positions. Thanks for helping the League maintain its well-deserved reputation for thoughtful, reasoned legislative activities. Your Lobby Team appreciates your support.