We’ve all thought about what we’d do if we won the lottery. I can think of a lot of trips I’d like to take with my family - or projects I’d like to do at home. But I know the odds are, no lottery winnings are coming my way. I’ve got to budget, and save, and prioritize my expenses. I can’t wait for a windfall to take care of my house and my family.
And our state can’t afford to wait either.
We can’t wait for a windfall to fund our schools and get our social programs back on track. We need to find the money and get our house in order today.We lose 250 MILLION dollars every year just from lost tax on internet sales. 250 million dollars! Will that 250 million solve all of our problems? Of course not. But it can get us started.
That amount is enough to hire 4,200 additional full-time teachers statewide, reducing class sizes by 7.4%.
It’s enough to fully fund the state need grant, providing financial aid to 30,000 more eligible students.
$250 million is enough to open up 35,000 enrollment slots in higher education.
Or cut college tuition by 18%. Are the few dollars we save when we shop on the internet and don’t support local businesses worth the cost to our education programs?
Individually, we can each make conscious choices about where we spend our money and how we support our community. We are also trying to make similar choices in the state legislature. Several years ago a small group of us proposed cutting back on the out of state bank profit loophole. This loophole gave special deals to banks like Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Chase. They got enough taxpayer money each year to fund all day kindergarten for the entire state. Trimming this loophole was a radical idea the first year. But a part of this take back helped balance the budget the following year.
Our problems in our state can be solved. But we won’t get anywhere if we don’t start actively working to solve them.