Schmick says House Democrat budget fails to implement reforms, will lead to continued budget shortfalls in the future

'This budget absolutely guarantees another multi-billion budget shortfall next year,' says Schmick

Democrat budget writers in the House and Senate released their 2010 supplemental operating budget proposals today.  Rep. Joe Schmick, R-Colfax and a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, released the following statement in response:

“We've seen four or five budgets in the last 12 months and not one of them attempts to reform government to make it more efficient and more accountable.  The only options majority Democrats have considered are cuts or taxes.  What about doing things differently?  I know folks in my district have had to change the way they do things – they've had to make sacrifices and prioritize.  State government should do the same.

“The governor's budget did cut some state spending, however she still uses ample one-time money.  Her budget is  projected to have a $2 billion shortfall for the 2011-13 biennium.  The House Democrat budget absolutely guarantees another multi-billion budget shortfall next year.

“Using tax increases to close the state's $2.7 billion budget shortfall is the wrong direction.  There are too many people out of work, too many families struggling to make ends meet.  Any kind of tax increase will hurt families, jobs and the economy.

“I still believe we can balance this budget without raising taxes and without harming our most vulnerable populations.”

 

Fast facts:
The House Democrats' proposed supplemental operating budget would spend $30.678 billion, leaving just $269 million in reserves. It would address the state's $2.7 billion budget shortfall by using:

  • $857 million in new taxes;
  • $641 million in federal dollars;
  • $653 million in state spending cuts;
  • $236 million in state budget transfers; and
  • $311 million from state reserves.

The state had a $1.8 billion surplus in the 2005-07 budget cycle, driven by extraordinary real estate excise tax revenue. State spending then grew by 33 percent, or more than $8 billion, from 2005 to 2008.

The Taxpayer Protection Act (I-960) passed in 2007, which required a two-thirds vote of the Legislature for tax increases. Senate Bill 6130, passed by Democrats in the Legislature and soon to be signed into law by the governor, removes this taxpayer protection and clears the way for tax increases.

There are currently 77 bills in the House that, when combined, would increase taxes and fees by more than $3 billion in the state's next fiscal year.

The 60-day legislative session is scheduled to adjourn March 11.

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For more information, contact: Brendon Wold, Senior Information Officer, (360) 786-7698.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov