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Letters | Legislature needs to finish its business
On May 13, the Washington State Legislature entered a special session after the 105-day regular legislative session ended without agreement on major budget related issues.
Calling this overtime “special” implies that it is something we should look forward to, but the reality is it’s a failure of the House majority party to make difficult decisions needed to get Washington back on sound financial footing.
I am very disappointed the Legislature could not finish its business within the time frame of the regular session. I had hoped the bipartisan work done on the Senate budget would carry over into negotiations with the House, but my optimism was misplaced.
Despite the fact that our state’s economy is projected to generate $33 billion in tax revenue to the state over the next biennium (a sum which is approximately $2 billion more than the $31 billion in revenue that the state had to work with for the 2011-2013 biennium), it is unfortunate that my colleagues in the House Democrat Caucus seek to spend almost $34.5 billion, which is $1.5 billion more than our state will collect in tax revenue.
It’s important to note the proposal does two other things to put our state in a precarious position moving forward. First, House Democrats want to use every penny of the state’s Rainy Day Fund in addition to raising a broad array of taxes. Second, the proposal leaves only a few hundred million dollars in the ending fund balance, which is barely enough to run state government for about six and a half days. This is irresponsible and will only set the stage for further tax increases next year.
In the coming weeks, I hope my colleagues in the House Democrat Caucus will begin to understand that we cannot continue to tax our way out of trouble. We must live within our means and budget responsibly.
District 5 State Rep