Support builds for legislative funding of our negotiated pay raises

Members descend on Inslee's office.

Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday is set to release his proposed budget plan for the two years starting July 1 – and it’s expected to recommend funding for your negotiated pay raises.

The governor’s budget office on Dec. 5 determined the pay raises – generally 3 percent July 1, 2015, and 1.8 percent in 2016 – were “financially feasible.”

Support from some unlikely sources is building for the Legislature to approve the funding and not turn thumbs down and send compensation back to the bargaining table.

“State officials have done the right thing in negotiating a reasonable pay hike,” the business-oriented Walla Walla Union-Bulletin proclaimed in a Dec. 11 editorial. “The Legislature must follow through and make good on the deal.”

“It’s time to reinvest in Washington state,” the governor said Dec. 9 in announcing his budget rollout.

Inslee on Thursday will release the entirety of his proposed 2015-2017 biennial budget. That budget, which includes a mix of spending cuts, program enhancements and new revenue, “will put the state on a sustainable path and not rely heavily on one-time fixes,” the governor’s office said.

So stay tuned. Regardless, achieving “legislative ratification” of the compensation and health care funding packages will be a prime focus of our grassroots member-lobbying program. Along with protecting our state’s investments in the public resources necessary for our freedom and quality of life – from protecting at-risk children, ensuring public safety, a mental health infrastructure that fulfills a recent state Supreme Court mandate and much more.

Stay tuned.


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