Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It is budget time in the Legislature. We are seeing budget proposals for operating, capital and transportation budgets.
The majority party in the House passed a state operating budget today, along party lines. It would spend approximately $39 billion, and includes $1.5 billion in new taxes and tax increases this year alone. However, the Democrats only passed the budget part and decided not to vote on the taxes…that would actually fund their huge spending proposal. Click on my photo below to watch my video about the House Democrats spending plan and their plan to increase taxes.
Remember, with the last update in our revenue projections we are looking at almost a 9 percent increase in revenue, more than $3 billion, yet the majority party in the House feels that isn't enough. Their plan would increase spending by 15 percent, which is simply not sustainable. The invoice below is a detailed look at the House Democrats proposed tax plan. To enlarge the chart, just click on it.
The Senate also introduced an operating budget, but it does not increase taxes. In fact, it cuts tuition, invests in education, provides every state employee a $2000 raise and includes the teachers' COLA.
It isn't a perfect budget but certainly has some good pieces to it. The budget negotiators will sit down over the next couple weeks and try to reach a final agreement. I expect, and there is no reason to think otherwise, that we will adjourn on time, April 26.
The House passed a bipartisan capital budget on Thursday. The capital budget differs from the operating as it addresses a lot of infrastructure needs, particularly bricks and mortar projects for our schools, higher education institutions and, some of community and local government needs. Some projects in the capital budget for the 12th District include:
- Twisp Civic Building;
- Brewster Reservoir Replacement Project;
- City of Pateros Water System;
- Entiat Valley Community Services Resource Center;
- Methow Valley Irrigation District; and
- Steamboat Rock, replacement of failing sewage lift stations.
Some of these are great projects to help mitigate the fire damage in the Methow. Again, this is just the House proposal, but I am hopeful these projects will be in a final capital budget plan.
There are a lot of moving pieces on some high profile issues. Any input or questions are welcome as we move into the final few weeks, so please do not hesitate to contact me.
Finally, I want to wish a Happy Easter to all! I hope everyone has a great weekend and has an opportunity to be with family and friends.