The compromise budget proposal reached by leaders of the House and Senate spends $38.2 billion over the next two years, reduces K-3 class sizes, gives teachers a total 4.8 percent pay raise through 2017, slashes tuition by 20 percent at four-year regional universities and by 15 percent at the University of Washington and Washington State University.
An outline of the agreement was announced on Saturday afternoon by Gov. Jay Inslee, but details were not released to the public until Monday afternoon.
The state Legislature will likely vote on the budget Monday evening. TVW will broadcast and webcast the debate live in the Senate and House. Inslee must sign the budget before Wednesday to avoid a government shutdown.
The details of the budget are posted online. Among the highlights:
-An additional $1.3 billion will be spent in K-12 education to meet McCleary obligations, including smaller class sizes in kindergarten through third grade, all-day kindergarten and fully funding maintenance, supplies and operating costs.
-$173 million for pay raises for state workers, fully funding collective bargaining agreements.
-$153 million for pay raises for teachers. Combined with a cost-of-living pay raises, that will amount to a 3 percent raise for the 2015-16 school year and a 1.8 percent raise for the 2016-17 school year.
-Colleges and universities will see varying tuition cuts. The state’s two research universities, UW and WSU, will get a 15 percent tuition cut. Four-year regional universities such as Western Washington University or Evergreen State College will get a 20 percent cut. Community and technical colleges will get a 5 percent reduction. The tuition cuts will be phased-in starting with a 5 percent reduction this year.
-An increase in revenue of about $200 million will come from repealing tax breaks, increasing certain fees and transferring lotto funds. The budget repeals a tax break for software manufacturers, eliminates a preferential business and occupation tax rate for royalty income and increases Dept. of Revenue late fee penalties.
-A decrease of about $35 million in revenue will come from extending or reinstating several tax breaks, including one for food processors and another tax break for data server farms.
-$134 million will go to early learning, including expanded preschool, funding the Early Start Act and child care eligibility changes.