The Legislature was unable to come to an agreement on the state’s operating budget due to significant differences between the House and Senate on how to fund the budget. The 105-day regular session ended on April 28 with Governor Inslee calling a 30-day special session scheduled to begin May 13. In the meantime, legislators and budget writers from both chambers have been considering objections from the other chamber and preparing to hit the ground running when special session begins.
Just days before the end of the regular session, the House passed its $900 million revenue package that consists primarily of tax increases and continuing expiring taxes on business. The Senate’s plan, however, funds education first, protects our State’s most vulnerable and balances the budget without increasing taxes on Washington citizens and businesses.
As the Senate Republican Leader and a member of the Ways and Means Committee, my focus prior to and in the special session is figuring out how we can come together and work with the House to produce a well-written, balanced budget without increasing the burden on taxpayers. For an in-depth budget conversation, watch a recent interview I and Senate Majority Coalition Leader Rodney Tom had with Inside Olympia’s Austin Jenkins.
Voters have made it clear time and time again that they do not want more taxes. It’s critical that we represent the people and restore public trust in government.
Our goals have been the same from the beginning—jobs education and the budget. I strongly believe we must focus on reforms before revenue. In a recent article on the announcement of special session, I said I would stand with the Governor—the one who promised no new taxes during his campaign. That continues to be my conviction.
I will keep you informed over the next few weeks as more develops in Olympia.
All my best,