Friends and Neighbors,
We reached the end of the regular legislative session this past weekend and many of you have likely read the news that our work on the state budget is not done. Let me explain briefly why it’s not done and why we are starting a special legislative session to finish the job:
To write and pass the state’s budget, both the Senate and the House need to propose and pass a balanced budget. Unlike the federal government, we can’t print money or spend ourselves into a deficit – just like its citizens, the state has to live within its means.
Unfortunately, the House chose to play by its own rules. The Democrat-controlled House proposed a budget that relies on $11 billion in new taxes, but refused to pass or even vote on the taxes necessary to fund their budget. If their budget went into effect, we would immediately have an $11 billion deficit.
This is why we’re going into a special session: the Senate has a fully-funded, responsible budget proposal. The House has a spending wishlist, but no way to pay for it.
Our citizens need to know what’s in their wallets before they pay the bills – it should be no different for the state.
Until the House decides to stand behind their taxes and vote on them, they are negotiating with money they don’t have.
That’s why the Majority Coalition Caucus in the Senate decided to do what the House refused to do and actually take a vote on the House tax plan. We brought the bills containing their entire tax plan to the Senate floor for a vote to give them a fair chance to show whether these new taxes have support or not.
They do not. Both tax increase bills failed unanimously.
Hopefully, now that we have proven there is no support for passing the House’s major new taxes, we can take them off the table and start having a real negotiation on a budget that lives within our means. It’s what our citizens do every day and it’s what they expect of their government.
The House owes it to the citizens of Washington to either show they have the votes for new taxes or give them up. We hope the House will take a serious look at what we did in the Senate budget to live within our means so we can negotiate a final budget agreement and get the job done soon!
To learn more about the Senate’s education funding plan, click here…