Regional Public Journalism
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Washington Governor Prepares To Release Budget, Taxes To Pay For It

Colin Fogarty
Northwest News Network files
File photo of the Washington State Capitol

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has been on a three-day road show to showcase his plans for education, transportation and climate change.

The Democrat plans to return to the Capitol [tomorrow] Thursday to formally unveil his proposed state budget for the next two years -- along with the taxes to pay for it.

It’s a long wish list. Inslee wants a more than $2 billion education package that includes new spending on pre-school and K-12. He also wants to continue a freeze on higher education tuition.

Other spending priorities for Inslee include union-negotiated pay hikes for state workers and money for voter-approved cost-of-living increases for teachers.

Inslee’s staff has said he will propose more than $1 billion in taxes and other revenue-generating measures to help pay for this spending. He’s already outlined a carbon cap-and-trade program that he says would raise $1 billion a year.

There is one thing Inslee is not proposing to fully fund -- at least for now. That’s the new voter-approved class-size measure that comes with a $2 billion price tag over the next two years.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."