Dear Friends and Neighbors,
There are now less than two weeks of the 105-day legislative session remaining. In my last email update, I told you about how the House Democrats' operating budget proposal would raise taxes by $1.5 billion. Their proposal would also increase state spending by 15 percent at a time when state spending has nearly doubled over the past 15 years. The Senate Republicans' proposal, on the other hand, fully funds our obligations without raising taxes. Here is a more detailed comparison of the two budgets – the House budget is on the left, the Senate budget is on the right. Take a look:
With $3 billion in additional revenue for the 2015-17 biennium, we do not need to raise taxes. I cannot stress that enough. We should not be looking to implement new and increased taxes on the hardworking taxpayers of our state. We can and should balance the budget within existing revenues.
Last Tuesday was opposite house fiscal committee cutoff, which means bills from the opposite house with a fiscal impact had to be passed out of appropriations committees unless deemed necessary to implement the budget (NTIB).
We took a lot of votes on the House floor leading up to yesterday's 5 p.m. opposite house cutoff. By that time last night, all Senate bills in the House (and vice-versa) had to be passed out of the opposite chamber unless deemed NTIB. Those that were not deemed NTIB are now considered dead for the year.
In my latest video update (click here to watch), I provide my thoughts on what I've seen from most of the legislation we've passed in the House this session. I also discuss my vote on the transportation budget, which is different from the transportation tax package that we have yet to vote on.
House page program
To become a page, applicants must have a legislative sponsor, be between the ages of 14 and 16, and obtain written permission from their parents and school. During their time as a page, students spend a week attending page school, learning the inner workings of state government and assisting legislators on the House floor. Pages earn $35 per day while serving in the program.
Suzannah's time at the Capitol culminated with the presentation of her mock bill, which would require 70% of the tax dollars homeschooling parents pay to the school district to be reimbursed to them for the purchase of curriculums.
To learn more about the House Page Program, click here.
I want to stay in touch with you as we head toward the final days of session. Please don't hesitate to call or email with any comments, questions or concerns. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and my phone number is (360) 786-7820. I look forward to hearing from you!
It is an honor to serve you in the state House of Representatives.