When the state Senate and House budgets came out earlier this week, we quoted low-income advocate Jerry Reilly, chair of the Elder Care Alliance, saying he was taking off his "Revenue" pin—the buttons that liberal activists have been sporting in Olympia in their campaign to get the legislature to fund social services.
"I was so angry," he said, explaining his seemingly counterproductive protest. "We had worked so hard to set the table for legislators to step up, and here they are with budgets that are not helping fund vital services."
But now he's back with a new pin. This one is real direct, avoiding the hemming and hawing political euphemisms that liberals often rely on.
He had 400 made initially, and just ordered 200 more as I was speaking to him in the cafeteria here on the state Capitol campus.
Low-income advocates point out that only 10 percent of the budget solution is new revenue (and most of that, at least on the Senate side, isn't taxes, it's cutting tax exemptions)—the rest is federal money, transfers from other accounts, and the biggest piece (44 percent in the House budget, for example) cuts like $149 million in K-12 funding, $202 million to the Department of Health and Human Services, $80.7 million to higher education, $24 million to the Department of Corrections, and $22 million for environmental programs.