Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It has been an interesting week in the Legislature – protests in the Capitol, late nights working in the House Ways and Means Committee, and operating budget proposals being released. This last point is one I'd like to emphasize. I voted against the House Democrats' proposed spending plan in committee yesterday because it lacks reforms and is unsustainable — despite the fact our state is expected to collect nearly 14 percent more revenue over the next two-year budget cycle. Here are some ways they attempt to balance the budget that I have concerns with:
- $418 million in fund transfers;
- $300 million assumed in an uncertain plan to turn over state liquor distribution operations to the private sector; and
- $240 million in delayed payments to schools by moving expenditures from this year's balance sheet to the next.
This budget proposal is a rough draft and many changes will be made over the last two weeks of the legislative session. As decisions are made, I remain committed to fiscal responsibility and budget sustainability – an approach that would benefit all Washingtonians. Let's keep dreaming about what our state could look like tomorrow, but get our fiscal house in order today.
In closing, please take a moment to watch my video update from this week. While the budget has been the major issue of late, I remain focused on jobs and the economy. You can view the short video (2:06) by clicking here or on the picture to the right.
421 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
360-786-7922 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000