Taylor supports budget-cutting agreement during emergency special session
The state Legislature convened a one-day special session Saturday and quickly approved a package of spending cuts that narrows the $1.1 billion shortfall in the current operating budget.
The bipartisan agreement (HB 3225) closes the budget gap between now and June 30, 2011 by $588 million.
Fifteenth District Rep. David Taylor voted for the early-action package, which was negotiated over several days of talks involving Republican and Democrat budget writers and the governor's office. Lawmakers were in Olympia for pre-scheduled committee hearings, and consensus built steadily for a special session to tackle the state's worsening budget deficit.
“There are certainly portions of the bill that will cause disappointment, hardship in some cases, and probably resentment, but overall, it reflects the priorities of government approach to budgeting that Republicans have long advocated,” said Taylor, R-Moxee.
Taylor noted that a proposal to cut the “levy equalization” subsidy for property-poor school districts was taken off the table during the bipartisan negotiations.
“What we accomplished today illustrates what can be achieved with a spirit of compromise and bipartisan collaboration,” he said, adding that in the face of the state's grim revenue forecasts, Washington's budget problems are far from over.
“The immediate budget savings we adopted today start the process of closing the deficit for the current fiscal year, but the bigger challenge comes in January when we buckle down for what promises to be one of the toughest legislative sessions in state history,” he said.
Red ink in the next biennium is projected to reach or exceed $5.7 billion.
“We can't forget what got us to this point — budgets in past years that were unsustainable. Defining priorities within existing revenues and restructuring government will be essential,” he said. “The solutions that come to the table may be difficult and painful at times, but standing up, making those hard decisions, is what we were elected to do.”
For more information, contact: Bill Taylor, Senior Information Officer: (360) 786-7074
###Washington State House Republican Communications