Shin votes against Republican budget proposal

Homelessness prevention programs were cut by more than 50 percent
Apr 09, 2013

Last Friday, the Senate passed a budget proposed by the Republican majority by a 30-18 vote. Sen. Paull Shin, D-Edmonds, voted against that budget proposal, along with the majority of his Democratic colleagues.

“I appreciate that the Republican majority included Democratic input in developing this budget proposal, but the budget that came to the floor was not one that I could support,” said Shin. “The Senate budget did not adequately protect the most vulnerable in our communities and funds K-12 education largely at their expense.”

The Republican proposal made substantial cuts to several important programs that make up the state’s safety net.

Programs that saw cuts included the package of programs previously known as Disability Lifeline, which provide cash support for the permanently disabled, along with Working Connections Child Care, which subsidizes child care for low-income families.

Homelessness prevention programs were cut by more than 50 percent, which will add 35,000 to the ranks of the homeless.

“I was homeless as a child. I know exactly how terrible it can be,” said Shin. “I couldn’t in good conscience vote to send children out to live on the street. We absolutely must maintain programs that help people move from poverty up into the middle class.

“One of the most influential resources I had when I came to the U.S. was a world-class education system,” Shin said. “Having access to a college education gave me the foundation that inspired personal growth and financial success.

“The budget that came out of the Senate raises tuition by 20 percent on non-resident students. This effectively prices these students out of the system and undermines the value that Washington state colleges and universities gain by fostering diverse global classrooms.

“We need to look at budget options that don’t drastically undermine our ability to build a skilled workforce and a robust economy here at home.”

The Democratic House majority is expected to release its budget proposal Wednesday. The Senate Republican budget must then be reconciled with the Democratic House proposal.

The final budget will have to be approved by both chambers and signed by Gov. Jay Inslee. The Legislature has until April 28 to pass a compromise budget without having to extend the regular session into a special session.

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