Noel Frame – 26th District House of Representatives

Noel Frame – 26th District House of Representatives

Making investments in our state

Two weeks ago, House Democrats laid out their operating budget and revenue plan for the next two years. The plan is a strong reflection of our values and our vision for a future that puts people first. The budget makes additional investments in critical areas of the state budget such as behavioral health, affordable housing, education, environment, and a new Workforce Education Investment.

You can read an overview of the entire budget proposal, but I wanted to highlight the following items that many of you have reached out about this session:

  • $206 million for behavioral health investments, including expanding community behavioral health capacity and services;
  • $643 million for K-12 schools, including investments in special education, student health and safety, and school employee health care coverage;
  • $119 million to expand access and affordability of early childhood education and childcare, and improve child welfare services;
  • $24 million to improve habitat and protect orcas; and
  • $76 million, in addition to the $155 million in the state capital budget, to invest inaffordable housing and homelessness services.

While the state economy has resulted in additional revenue over the current two-year budget, existing expenses have outpaced that revenue growth. The state has an additional$5.8 billion of expenses over the last two-year budget, most of which ($3.9 billion) comes from the bipartisan education funding agreement reached in 2017. In that time frame, the state’s revenue growth was $4.5 billion. Therefore, new revenue sources are needed to make these critical investments in behavioral health, education, housing, and the environment.

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