Dear Friends and Neighbors,
On Monday, we received an early revenue forecast to give budget writers a better idea of how much the state is expected to bring in for the current and next biennial budgets. It was good news! The state is bringing in even more than originally anticipated in February – $400 million more! Our 2015-17 budget is now expected to have about $3.2 billion more in tax collections than the 2013-15 budget.
I've said all along that the state has plenty of funds to provide for the priorities of the state, including fully funding education, public safety and caring for the most vulnerable. We don't need to increase taxes on families in Washington to responsibly balance the budget. The other side has been insistent that more taxes are needed, which is why we find ourselves in the 22nd day of the 30-day special session. However, after Monday's revenue forecast, Gov. Inslee has changed his mind again on taxes: Inslee says $1.4 billion tax package no longer needed.
Check out my video where I call for serious budget negotiations to take place and for the special session to end.
We should demand an end to the political games and finish the work people sent us to do now. I'm concerned some care more about passing tax increases than the people affected by the budget. While the logistics of passing a budget may take us a few days into a second special session, there's no reason we can't get the ball rolling now.
As always, please contact my office anytime with your questions and comments. It's an honor to serve you in our state Legislature.