Saturday, March 6, 2010

Majority Party Keeps Spending Your Money

March 05 2010

‘We’ve been down this road before and it leads to budget deficits, unsustainable spending and broken promises,’ says Alexander

The Washington State House of Representatives passed its 2010 supplemental operating budget this evening by a vote of 55-43. Rep. Gary Alexander, R-Olympia and ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, and Rep. Richard DeBolt, R-Chehalis, released the following statements:

Rep. Gary Alexander

“Instead of being driven by courage to do what’s right, we’re being driven by fear to do what’s convenient.

I can’t support a state budget that cuts only one percent of spending when our families and employers across the state have cut so much deeper.

“Democrat budget writers propose using a combination of one-time federal money, budget transfers, selected cuts to government, and the largest tax increase in state history, to prop up a state government that has become too large, too fast.

We’ve been down this road before and it leads to budget deficits, unsustainable spending and broken promises.

“The tax increases this budget assumes are not what we need to give taxpayers and employers confidence and help bring our state out of this economic recession.

I can see no upside for struggling families and employers who will have more money taken out of their pockets by a government that seems to disregard them.

“This is a tone-deaf budget considering what the taxpayers and the public have been saying.”

Rep. Richard DeBolt

“This budget ignores the plight of working families who are facing double-digit unemployment and trying make ends meet within their household budgets. The Legislature has failed to address the real problems citizens are facing. They want jobs and the chance to take care of their families without the interference of government.

Instead, with this budget, they get business as usual and a billion-dollar tax increase. House Republicans believe in balancing the budget without raising taxes by establishing the priorities of government. This budget says government is the priority.”

Quick Budget Facts

• The operating budget is on a two-year cycle, with midcourse adjustments made in even-numbered years through a supplemental version. It is facing a $2.7 billion shortfall for one year.

• The operating budget is the largest of the state’s three main budgets, along with the capital and transportation budgets, and pays for K-12 schools, corrections and public safety programs, government and judicial operations, higher education, and health and human services.

• The $30.678 billion House supplemental operating budget seeks to close the $2.7 billion budget shortfall through:

• new tax increases ($900 million);
• federal funds ($641 million);
• state fund transfers ($236 million);
• spending cuts ($653 million); and
• the state rainy day fund ($229 million).

• With the recent suspension of the Taxpayer Protection Act (Initiative 960) through Senate Bill 6130, only a simple majority in the Legislature (50 state representatives and 25 state senators) is needed to increase taxes. Not one Republican in either the House or Senate voted for Senate Bill 6130.

• The state had a $1.8 billion surplus in the 2005-07 budget cycle, driven by extraordinary real estate excise tax revenue. State spending grew by 40 percent, or more than $8 billion, from 2005 to 2009 and created the shortfall that now requires a billion dollars in new taxes.

Washingtonton House Republicans

No comments: