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Inslee Proposes More Prison Beds, But No Teacher COLAs In Budget Update

Austin Jenkins
Members of the Washington Education Association wore these buttons to the governor's supplemental budget rollout to signify five years without voter-approved cost-of-living increases.

More prison beds, but no cost-of-living raises for school teachers were the two takeaways after Gov. Jay Inslee Tuesday proposed a modest update to the state’s two-year budget.

Think of the governor’s supplemental budget proposal as a list of bullet points. Here are just three.

More Prison Beds

The governor proposes to open a 256-bed medium-security unit at the Washington State Penitentiary and contract with a county jail for 64 additional beds for female inmates. This is to address rising prison populations and reduce crowding.

Raises For Childcare Providers

Inslee proposes to fund a union negotiated 8-percent rate increase for family home childcare providers. But he says teacher cost-of-living increases will have to wait for the next two-year budget cycle.

Reverse Cuts To Tobacco Quitline

Inslee wants to reverse cuts to the state’s Tobacco Quitline and tobacco cessation services.

These are all just proposals the governor will send to the Legislature. Lawmakers may or may not agree when they reconvene in January.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia." Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Austin’s reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists.