15th District representatives vote ‘no’ on Democrat operating budget
Over strong objections from Republicans who warned that the proposal was neither responsible nor sustainable, majority Democrats pushed their operating budget through the state House of Representatives Friday night.
Reps. Bruce Chandler and David Taylor voted against the budget, which passed the House 54-42.
“Despite an economic downturn, the state is still expected to bring in about the same revenue from the last budget and this new budget. This budget continues business as usual, there is no change like the public has asked for,” said Chandler, R-Granger. “The majority has avoided every effort to prioritize what's important to the citizens of this state. Nothing has been done to help employers create jobs to energize our economy. At the same time, the state is diverting borrowed money intended to build essential infrastructure to use for current operating expenses. This budget pushes $777 million onto our children.”
In his floor remarks, Taylor said the budget is characterized by broken promises, and breaks faith with the people of Washington.
“The Legislature is vested with the responsibility of protecting public peace, health and safety, and to provide ample provisions for education. Unfortunately, this budget ignores those basic mandates,” said Taylor, R-Moxee. “This budget represents a lot of misplaced priorities. It cuts K-12 education by $794 million; health care by $777 million; and higher education by $593 million. Based on the phone calls and e-mails I'm getting, my constituents are saying those are the wrong cuts to be making.”
Taylor said the severity of the cuts is amplified when compared to other areas of the budget.
“For example, funding for the Natural Resources budget was cut by $93 million dollars. That's only 1.8 percent. But we're cutting health care and education by over $2 billion. Great choice,” said Taylor. “Broken promises, and for so many kids, broken dreams. This budget is not what's best for the people of Washington state.”
Chandler noted that not everything in the budget is bad. The proposal does include $150,000 for research on honey bee colony collapse disease at Washington State University, which he says is critical to orchardists who depend on honey bees for production.
The budget also keeps the Yakima Valley School in Selah open for residents, and restores part of school districts' levy equalization funds that were severely reduced in the governor's proposed budget.
The budget now goes to the Senate for consideration. The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn Sunday, April 26.
For more information, contact: Bill Taylor, Senior Information Officer: (360) 786-7074
###Washington State House Republican Communications