Dear Friends and Neighbors,
House Democrats released their 2015-17 operating budget proposal last Friday, and as expected, it relies heavily on tax increases. The majority party is looking to raise taxes by $1.5 billion, despite the fact we already have $3 billion in additional revenue coming in. Their budget increases state spending by $5.2 billion, growing state government from $33.8 billion to nearly $39 billion. The House Democrats' proposed tax increases are as follows:
State spending has nearly doubled over the past 15 years, which is staggering. The House Democrats' budget doesn't prioritize spending or require state government to live within its means. Instead, it puts taxpayers on the hook for more spending through tax increases. It's been proven time and time again that Washingtonians don't want tax increases, yet the House Democrats' budget proposal includes a tax on capital gains, bottled water, online sales, and a variety of increases to the state's business and occupation tax.
On Monday, Senate Republicans released their own budget, which addresses our basic obligations without raising taxes. Negotiations over the House and Senate proposals will begin soon. Although there are significant differences between the two budgets, it is my hope we can pass a balanced, responsible budget by our April 26 deadline.
House Bill 1610 signed into law
After passing unanimously in both the state House and Senate, my bill to increase jury duty participation (House Bill 1610) was signed into law by Gov. Inslee yesterday. It was a great honor for me, and a moment I won't soon forget.
At the bill signing with Gov. Inslee, Sen. Mike Padden, his legislative assistant Mike McCliment, Associate Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts Mellani McAleenan, and some other staff members.
I want to hear from you! Please take a moment to think about the following question, then click here to provide your answer.
In terms of the operating budget, how would you rank the following in terms of importance?
- K-12 Education
- Higher Education
- Early Learning
- Long-Term Care and Developmental Disabilities
- Mental Health
- Health Care
- Public Safety
You can also click here to answer.
In addition to answering the survey question above, I want to hear your thoughts about anything that's on your mind. Whether it's a specific bill or a problem with a state agency, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, and my phone number is (360) 786-7820.
It is an honor to serve you in the state House of Representatives.