Today House Republicans in Olympia introduced their proposal for a balanced budget without a sales tax increase. The proposal would reduce government spending by $840 million while leaving $651 million in reserves. House Republicans introduced an education budget on Feb. 2 to fund education first; today’s proposal builds on that education budget by funding the core priorities of government and reducing other programs and services. Read more about it here.
Rep. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, said she supports the proposal because it protects the most vulnerable in the state, including the elderly, people with developmental disabilities, children and mental health programs.
“Caring for the most vulnerable is our responsibility as a state, but it’s also the right thing to do,” Walsh said. “This budget helps those folks who cannot care for themselves through no fault of their own. House Republicans have shown we can care for the most vulnerable without holding them hostage to any tax increases. We have shown the way to prioritize programs and services without raising taxes for struggling families.”
Yesterday, the state’s revenue forecast revealed a $96 million increase in expected revenue, though just $32 million was as a result of new tax collections. The state’s interim chief economist said economic indicators are positive, though job creation has lacked.
“I’ve always believed the best thing we can do for families is to make sure the parents have jobs to be able to support their families,” Walsh said. “By restoring some sustainability to our budget, we give small-business owners, like myself, some stability in this shaky economy, allowing job creators to put more people back to work. With just twenty days remaining in this session, the Legislature must adopt a responsible budget without raising taxes and stimulate job creation to get Washington working again.”
The 60-day session is scheduled to adjourn March 8.
For more information, contact: Sarah Stewart, Public Information Officer, (360) 786-7720