December 19, 2016
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Inslee releases McCleary education funding proposal with 'firehose of money' from new taxes

Gov. Jay Inslee promised a "firehose of money" from new taxes to increase teacher pay and education funding as he released his budget proposal and McCleary funding plan last week. Billions of dollars in increased state spending would complete the state's K-12 education funding obligations under the 2012 McCleary ruling, Inslee said in a press conference in Tacoma.

The governor's proposal would add $2.4 billion to increase wages for teachers and school staff, $485 million to complete K-3 class size reductions, plus more. The Washington Research Council and Opportunity Washington run down the numbers.

Meanwhile, the legislative school funding workgroup that has spent the year working on a McCleary plan said last week that it needs more time, The News Tribune reports. At a meeting last week, the panel was supposed to go over its proposals -- but with no proposals in hand, it postponed that discussion. The panel has until Jan. 9, the first day of the legislative session, to come up with recommendations on how the state can fully fund K-12 education.

After looking at the governor's proposal, AWB noted that the state has already increased K-12 education funding by $4.5 billion since 2013 without a major tax increase.

“Unfortunately, by concluding that Washington families and employers should pay $4 billion-plus in new taxes during the next biennium (rising to more than $8 billion in the following biennium), Gov. Inslee discards the track record of bipartisan success that lawmakers have displayed in recent years, and threatens to undermine Washington’s already uneven economic recovery," AWB President Kris Johnson said. "Furthermore, the proposed tax increases do not ensure a greater return on the public’s investment."

For more on AWB's state budget work, contact Government Affairs Director Eric Lohnes.

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Sustainability in Action

Aslan Brewing Company: Refreshing Environmental Success

By Washington Business magazine

Taking beer and building to a new, sustainable level, a craft brewer demonstrates how a time-honored cold beverage can take the edge off the climate.

With a commitment to organic ingredients, locally-sourced goods, and low-impact practices, the owners offer the community something new and refreshing, the sustainable way .
Read the full article in Washington Business magazine
Workforce Matters

We must train next generation for the jobs Washington is creating

By Amy Morrison Goings and Gary Oertli

In these politically stressful times, there's one priority everyone can agree on: putting people to work in Washington. People need great jobs just as employers need great talent.

The most recent proof comes in the form of research by the Boston Consulting Group and the Washington Roundtable. The report projects there will be 740,000 job openings in Washington over the next five years. Most of those openings will be filled by people who have postsecondary education or training.

The jobs range from entry-level positions, to "pathway" jobs that then lead to well-paying careers. Many positions require not just a high school diploma and not necessarily a bachelor's degree, but somewhere in between -- such as an associate degree, or a certificate backed by industry need, or an apprenticeship. Others require a bachelor's degree or higher.

That's why it's so important for the Legislature to fund the entire pipeline of education in Washington, from pre-kindergarten through college. At the center of that pipeline is Washington's community and technical college system.
Read the full op-ed in The Puget Sound Business Journal
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