Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Our state budget crisis has reached a tipping point. The chart below demonstrates how state spending outpaced state revenues (tax collections) from 2005 to 2010. It also shows revenue projections for 2011 through 2013, and what Washington is on pace to spend in this time frame if we do not make adjustments. As you can see, a sizeable gap remains and it must be addressed.
I recently voted against budget-related legislation, House Bill 1086. First, it did not go far enough in addressing the $600 million shortfall remaining in our two-year budget cycle that ends June 30. Secondly, it makes deep and retroactive cuts to education while continuing to pay for expensive and inefficient state programs. Finally, it does not offer the meaningful state government reform needed in the next budget cycle to properly align revenue with spending. Simply put: it kicks the problem down the road.
You can watch my House floor speech here or by clicking on the picture to the left. This will take you to a YouTube Web site.
While there are signs the economy is improving, we are not out of the woods yet — especially as the Wall Street Journal reports crude oil is almost at the $100 a barrel mark. State lawmakers must utilize this economic downturn as an opportunity to reform and resize state government. This process must start with setting priorities and end with a sustainable, no-new-taxes budget. Government cannot be all things to all people.
It is an honor to serve the people of the 6th District. Please contact me if I can ever be of assistance.
421 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
360-786-7922 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000