Inslee proposes tapping reserves, carbon tax in budget plan

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Gov. Jay Inslee has proposed tapping into the state’s reserves to comply with a final timeline required for Washington state to come into compliance with a state Supreme Court mandate on education funding, and he’s proposing a new tax on carbon emissions from fossil fuels to backfill that withdrawal.

The governor announced the proposal Thursday during the unveiling of his supplemental budget proposal, which makes some tweaks to the current $43.7 billion, two-year state budget that was adopted earlier this year. Inslee’s plan proposes spending $950 million to fully implement the state’s salary allocation for teachers starting with the September 2018 school year. His plan relies on a carbon tax that is still to be officially introduced that would restore that money back to the reserves.

The new proposal also includes putting more money toward the state’s mental health system and toward efforts to battle opioid addiction in the state.