‘Let’s continue negotiations in earnest and make sure the reforms and budget we pass get it right,’ says House Republican budget leader Rep. Gary Alexander
Members of the state House of Representatives are being called back to Olympia this week to hold committee hearings and possibly vote on legislation despite no formal budget agreement.
Rep. Gary Alexander, R-Olympia and ranking Republican on the budget-writing House Ways and Means Committee, today issued the following statement:
“We have less than a week left in this first 30-day special session and I’m not sure we’re any closer to a budget agreement now than we were at the end of the regular session.
“Our citizens want our state’s fiscal house in order and to get Washington working again. With no budget agreement in place, it looks like last-minute meetings are being scheduled and partisan bills are being brought forward to give the appearance of a legitimate effort. However, political games won’t get the job done. It is disingenuous to bring lawmakers back to Olympia to vote on bills that House Democrats know are opposed by a bipartisan philosophical majority in the Senate and House Republicans.
“House Republicans were prepared with solutions back in September, again in December, and were the first to introduce a budget proposal during the 2012 session. Our budget contained no state sales tax increase, no bonding, no securitization, and no gimmicks. Our budget put priorities before politics by funding education first, protecting public safety and the most vulnerable. It does not rely on accounting gimmicks; it does not push education payments into next year; it does not circumvent the voter-approved two-thirds legislative vote requirement for tax increases by making local governments raise taxes to backfill cuts.
“If you’re really negotiating in good faith, you don’t present a ‘take it or leave it’ budget to the rest of the Legislature; you don’t resurrect extremely contentious, partisan bills that you know don’t have enough support to pass. If the majority party in the House insists on playing the same budget games they did during the regular session, we won’t move any closer to a budget agreement – to the detriment of the citizens of the state.
“Let’s continue negotiations in earnest and make sure the reforms and budget we pass get it right!”
For more information, contact Brendon Wold, Senior Information Officer: (360) 786-7698