10 state budget cuts that might surprise you

Jul 15, 2011

Washington budget writers just can’t catch a break. Earlier this week, state income had fallen another $22 million short of forecasts. That’s on top of a forecasted revenue slump that will leave the state with only $163.3 million in reserve by June 2013.

All of which comes on the heels of the Legislature’s $32 billion two-year budget that cut $4.6 billion.

We’ve heard about the big cuts to education and a few other programs – such as closing the state tourism office, the quit cigarette hotline, living will registry and ending film industry incentives. Now, here’s 10 small programs cuts that will affect the way at least some Washington citizens live their lives:

  1. The Department of Early Learning has eliminated the Career & Wage Program, a pilot program in approximately 55 child care centers in Washington. Child care employees who took classes related to early childhood education or development were given small wage increases to support and encourage professional development. (Savings of $3 million for the 2011-13 biennium.)
  2. The Domestic Marketing Program at the Department of Agriculture was eliminated. This includes the Farm-to-School Program, which was dedicated to fostering relationships between schools and agricultural producers in Washington State, and the Small Farm Direct Marketing Assistance Program.  (Amount saved:  $911,000)
  3. Two aquatic education programs were eliminated at the Department of Fish and Wildlife:  Salmon in the Classroom and Angler Education.  (Amount saved:  $442,000)
  4. Migratory Waterfowl Art Committee. The responsibility to select the migratory bird stamp is transferred to the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW). The DFW must solicit recommendations from the public.
  5. Salmon Stamp Selection Committee, as comprised of five people to judge and select the winning entrant for the Washington salmon stamp program and Washington junior salmon stamp program.
  6. Elimination of the Skills Center Director. (Saving $196,000) The center is an extension for high schools providing students with job preparation skills.
  7. Suspension of the Pre-Apprenticeship Grants. (Savings $350,000) The grants helped some students get through the pre-apprenticeship programs for improving their basic skills before applying to an apprenticeship program.
  8. Elimination of the Dyslexia Pilot Program. (Saving $150,000) The Dyslexia Pilot Program provides regional training through the Educational Service Districts for classroom teachers and reading specialists to improve reading skills of students diagnosed with dyslexia.  Funding for the pilot is eliminated.
  9. Elimination of the Center for the Improvement of Student Learning. (Saving $450,000) The center provided outreach to districts and communities to improve student outcomes, by serving as a clearinghouse for best practices and identifying strategies to improve the success of certain ethnic and racial student groups.
  10. Elimination of OSPI Technical Support for Career and Technical Organizations. (Savings $194,000)

(Special thanks to Washington’s Office of Financial Management for providing this information.)

What else?

What programs or services that have not been big in the news have you seen cut, reduced or eliminated? How have these cuts affected your life?

Let us know by commenting on this page, on our Facebook page or by emailing Online Managing Editor Jake Ellison at jellison@kplu.org