Reps. Magendanz, Rodne vote ‘yes’ on 2015-17 state operating budget
The Washington State House of Representatives passed the bipartisan 2015-17 operating budget Monday evening with a strong bipartisan vote. Reps. Chad Magendanz, R-Issaquah, and Jay Rodne, R-Snoqualmie, voted in favor of the budget and released the following statements:
“Our bipartisan negotiations took some time, but the results are historic. Our operating budget passed the House by a vote of 90 to 8, the highest margin in 60 years,” said Magendanz. “We raise K-12 funding by 19 percent, which is the highest increase in more than 25 years, so that K-12 now comprises 48 percent of the operating budget, which is also the highest percentage in 30 years. Finally, we reached a capital budget deal which provides some $200 million for K-3 classroom construction. We're finally living within our means and honoring our priorities.”
The $38 billion budget fulfills the Legislature's education funding obligation outlined in McCleary by investing $1.3 billion in K-12 education, reducing class sizes and expanding access to full-day kindergarten. It also provides cost-of-living adjustments to teachers and public employees.
Rodne said the budget deal not only funds critical state programs and services, but also prevented major tax increases.
“This budget accomplishes many of government's top priorities and proves Olympia is capable of agreeing to a sustainable budget that lives within our means and does not require major, onerous tax increases. The list of accomplishments is long – historic investments in K-12, provides funds to address court-mandates fixes in our state's broken mental health system, cost of tuition reductions at four-year and two-year institutions, and more – and are major wins for all Washingtonians.
In addition to these, we successfully thwarted attempts to pass a capital gains tax, sales tax increase and a carbon tax – all of which would have harmed taxpayers and job creators in Washington state. With $3.2 billion in incoming revenues for the budget cycle, there was no need for lawmakers to increase or propose new taxes. While I'm disappointed it took legislators 160 days to reach an agreement, I'm proud we were able to give voters a budget that leaves change in their pockets and makes important investments in necessary services,” said Rodne.
Senate Bill 6052, the budget legislation, now moves to the governor's desk for consideration.
###Washington State House Republican Communications