Inslee: No new taxes needed to fund education

OLYMPIA — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee said Friday the state doesn’t need new taxes to fulfill its education funding obligations, even though Gov. Chris Gregoire says new revenue has to be considered.

Inslee said in an interview with The Associated Press that he is focused on raising the state’s revenue by encouraging economic growth.

“That is the driving engine of revenue growth for state government,” Inslee said. “The foundational aspect of education funding for the state is getting 288,000 people back to work.”

Inslee also believes the state can free up more cash for education by making government more efficient and curbing health care costs. He was open to examining the state’s tax deductions, but the Legislature earlier this year repealed a bank tax break that Inslee had cited as the one he wanted to remove.

He said he is proposing no new taxes.

That stance seems to put Inslee at odds with other top Democrats, including Gregoire. She said earlier this month that the state should have pursued more revenue for education funding in response to a recent Supreme Court ruling, arguing that the state has to step up because there isn’t “going to be a rainbow pot of gold” to solve the problem.

In the so-called McCleary decision, the Washington Supreme Court determined in January that the state isn’t meeting its constitutional obligation to amply pay for basic public education.

“We’ve got the roadmap of what to do,” Gregoire said. “We don’t have a dime to pay for it.”

She added: “We need to do something in revenue to put a down payment on McCleary.”

Democratic Rep. Ross Hunter, a top budget writer in the Legislature, said the next budget the state writes will need to find about $1 billion — either in cuts or new revenue. That budget would be signed by the next governor early next year.

The Legislature has created a task force that will examine this year how to properly fund education. Hunter said it’s not clear to him where the state will be able to find $1 billion in cuts, though he didn’t rule it out.

“My personal belief is that it will be very, very hard to do this without additional revenue,” Hunter said.

Inslee’s position on education funding is similar to that of Republican candidate Rob McKenna’s.

Both say they don’t need money for education and want to save money through both efficiencies and health care costs.

McKenna also wants to shrink the state’s workforce through attrition.

Talk to us

More in Local News

An example of the Malicious Women Co. products (left) vs. the Malicious Mermaid's products (right). (U.S. District Court in Florida)
Judge: Cheeky candle copycat must pay Snohomish company over $800K

The owner of the Malicious Women Co. doesn’t expect to receive any money from the Malicious Mermaid, a Florida-based copycat.

A grave marker for Blaze the horse. (Photo provided)
After Darrington woman’s horse died, she didn’t know what to do

Sidney Montooth boarded her horse Blaze. When he died, she was “a wreck” — and at a loss as to what to do with his remains.

A fatal accident the afternoon of Dec. 18 near Clinton ended with one of the cars involved bursting into flames. The driver of the fully engulfed car was outside of the vehicle by the time first responders arrived at the scene. (Whidbey News-Times/Submitted photo)
Driver sentenced in 2021 crash that killed Everett couple

Danielle Cruz, formerly of Lynnwood, gets 17½ years in prison. She was impaired by drugs when she caused the crash that killed Sharon Gamble and Kenneth Weikle.

A person walks out of the Everett Clinic on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The Everett Clinic changing name to parent company Optum in 2024

The parent company says the name change will not affect quality of care for patients in Snohomish County.

Tirhas Tesfatsion (GoFundMe) 20210727
Lynnwood settles for $1.7 million after 2021 suicide at city jail

Jail staff reportedly committed 16 safety check violations before they found Tirhas Tesfatsion, 47, unresponsive in her cell.

June Robinson
Everett senator will head state Senate’s budget-writing committee

Come 2024, Sen. June Robinson will lead the Ways and Means Committee, giving her power in deciding the state budget.

Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin gives an address to the city council of her proposed 2024 budget at the Everett Police Department North Precinct in Everett, Washington on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Everett mayor presents balanced budget for 2024; future deficit looms

If approved by the City Council, the $438 million budget will fund more police staff, parks and infrastructure.

One of Snohomish County PUD’s new smart readers is installed at a single family home Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023, in Mill Creek, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
PUD program seeks to make energy grid smarter for 380K customers

The public utility’s ConnectUp program will update 380,000 electric meters and 23,000 water meters in the next few years.

Everett Police Officer Kevin Davis, left, and Officer Mike Bernardi, right, the walk through downtown Everett on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett police target public drug use, netting 84 arrests since July

A review of dozens of jail booking records showed the vast majority of those defendants usually spent two days or less in jail.

Most Read