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Washington lawmakers announce $ 59 billion new state budget to boost public health, COVID-19 childcare

OLYMPIA. On Saturday afternoon, the Washington House of Representatives Վ Senate Democrats bargained for a new, $ 59 billion two-year state operating budget that promotes public health, child care, and mental health programs against the backdrop of the COVID-19 epidemic.

That figure does not even include the billions of federal coronavirus aid that the budget agreement spends on a number of programs aimed at rehabilitating the epidemic’s health and economic impact.

Combined with a new 7% capital gains tax on the sale of some assets of federal aid, recovery tax, or և over $ 250,000, the new budget boosts spending around the world.

Democrat-controlled Senate lawmakers are now instructed to pass budget-related bills, including capital gains tax, before the legislative session ends Sunday.

Washington’s operating budget is the state’s main expenditure project. It funds K-12 schools, higher education, parks, prisons, as well as mental health, care and other social services.

Increased costs include $ 261 million in long-term tax credit for low-income families. It also provides $ 50 million to expand subsidized health care premiums for qualified individuals involved in programs through the State Benefits Exchange.

And as a result of the new deal, $ 147 million is spent on long-term state-funded public health systems in Washington.

Much of the new spending is focused on supporting the health and economic response to the epidemic, which Democrats have prioritized.

On that front, the new budget allocates federal aid dollars

  • $ 1.7 billion to reopen Washington’s K-12 schools
  • $ 1.1 billion for vaccine deployment, public health testing, recruitment, and recruitment
  • $ 658 million in rent assistance
  • $ 528 million for child care programs
  • $ 500 million to reduce unemployment insurance for employers who hit COVID-19 restrictions hard
  • $ 340 million in epidemiological assistance to residents who are unable to receive assistance through other programs because of their citizenship status
  • $ 201 million to help small businesses through various programs
  • $ 190 million to help prevent housing foreclosures

Elsewhere in the budget, funding is being provided to set up an independent office for paid government employees on the 19th day, to set up an independent office to investigate the use of lethal force by law enforcement.

It spends $ 130 million on the Department of Natural Resources’ forest protection programs and firefighting capabilities.

And the deal envisions $ 74.2 million to help countries resist individuals և reimburse legal financial obligations as a result of a state Supreme Court ruling that hit Washington with a felony drug offense.

The new budget, which was debated behind closed doors by the House of Representatives, the Senate Democrats, also provides $ 517 million in federal state funding for new funding for behavioral health. That includes new dollars around the state for six additional mobile crisis teams և higher interest rates for caregivers.

Mental health funding also provides dollars to ensure that the new University of Washington Behavioral Health Training Hospital will be ready for operation in the coming years.

The new budget also spends existing budget reserves. By the end of the 2021-23 budget cycle, the state would have $ 1.2 billion in reserve accounts.

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