Following the Senate’s passage of a $33.4 billion budget that does not rely on new taxes and invests more in education than the proposal approved by the House of Representatives this week, I released the below statement:
“For the second time this year, the bipartisan Senate coalition has passed a budget that accomplishes our top priorities: increasing investments in education, living within our means and meeting the state requirement to balance over four years.
“The Senate budget increases education funding by $1.5 billion without new taxes. That’s more money than the House managed to put in their new budget for education, despite the fact that they raise taxes by over $500 million in the next two years.
“Our budget is also predicated on reforming state government. We will continue to fight for common-sense reforms to improve the state’s business climate and education system.
“With 22 more days until the June 30 end of the fiscal biennium, there’s time to come to agreement on a final budget. Getting there will require the governor and the House to focus on how we spend the people’s money – not on how to raise taxes. Once that happens, it will be easy for our Senate coalition to work with them towards positive solutions for the people of Whatcom County and Washington state.”
Reform bills associated with the budget that Ericksen referenced include:
- Senate Bill 5296 – Establishing the Environmental Legacy Stewardship Account to create jobs and expedite cleanup of toxic sites.
- Senate Bill 5895 – Limiting non-education spending to the level of increase in population and inflation to help meet the state’s constitutional education-funding mandate.
- Senate Bill 5127 – Expanding voluntary structured settlement options to more injured workers to help prevent billions of dollars in industrial-insurance rate increases.
- Senate Bill 5242 – Providing principals more control over their school’s personnel to allow them to be responsive to the needs of their community.