Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The state budget is the Legislature's main focus from here until the end of session. House Democrats and Senate Republicans have each put forward their own budget plan — and they are quite different.
The Senate budget reduces tuition at state colleges and universities by an average of 25 percent. The House budget only freezes tuition.
The Senate budget spends $37.8 billion. The House budget spends $38.9 billion.
Both budgets include ample K-12 funding to follow through with current McCleary commitments: the Senate $1.3 billion, the House $1.4 billion. Either plan represents the largest increase in funding to the state's program of basic education in our history. However, I don't believe the House budget relies on stable and dependable funding sources.
I voted against the House Democrats' budget. It doesn't stay within the ample revenues state government is already getting, and it doesn't do anything to gain the public's trust that the state can spend taxpayer dollars well and wisely. You can watch my floor speech on the budget here.
Once the Senate approves its budget plan, negotiations between the two sides will begin. I'm hopeful that working together, we can come to an agreement that puts us on the path to fully funding education and shows the people of Washington we can be responsible stewards of their tax dollars.
427 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7876 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000