Parker votes against ‘status quo’ budget
'I am disheartened by seeing a budget which lacks long-term vision for our state,' Parker says
The House of Representatives today passed a $31 billion supplemental operating budget to balance the $2.7 billion spending gap.
Rep. Kevin Parker, R-Spokane, voted 'no' because he believes it is short-sighted and will hurt the state's economic progress by creating a pattern of insolvency.
“This budget ignores economic realities by reducing spending only one percent from year to year while businesses have cut back fifteen percent or more. This two-year budget spends just 4.2 percent less than the previous two-year budget, which enjoyed a surplus,” Parker said. “The Legislature missed the chance to bring real reform to the state of Washington.”
House Republican proposals to reform workers' compensation, the Basic Health Plan and state employee collective bargaining contracts were rejected by majority Democrats in the Legislature.
“I have written budgets for nonprofit organizations as well as private-sector companies, and this budget would not have been acceptable in either sector,” Parker said. “Not only is this a short-sighted answer, but budget writers did not do a thorough review of the state's priorities to put people first and bureaucracy last. It's times like these that demand us to dig deep and make difficult decisions that are the best thing for our state's long-term viability.”
Parker was especially concerned about tax increase proposals which make up 32 percent of the budget solution for this year, and would potentially represent the largest tax increase in state history. The proposal includes, among other things:
- Increasing the hazardous substances tax, which would apply to gasoline and household cleaners;
- Increasing the business and occupation tax for accountants, lawyers, consultants and market researchers; and
- Imposing a sales tax on candy, bottled water, cosmetic medical services, janitorial services, and custom software services.
“We are on the cusp of economic recovery, but increasing taxes will only create unstable consumer spending and job opportunities,” Parker said. “The Legislature should take a lesson from history and put more efforts into helping private-sector employers create job opportunities to grow our way out of this economic downturn.”
The budget, passed 55-43, now goes the Senate for agreement on amendments made in the House.
Contact: Sarah Lamb, public information officer, (360) 786-7720
###Washington State House Republican Communications