Legislature adjourns without making needed reforms and will go into special session to raise taxes

The Legislature today adjourned Sine Die without adopting a state operating budget and with the Democratic majority vowing to return to Olympia to raise taxes. Rep. Richard DeBolt said the session was made up of a series of missed opportunities interspersed with a small number of positive changes.

“A lack of leadership and a lack of creative ideas have resulted in business as usual here in Olympia,” said DeBolt, R-Chehalis. “House Republicans offered to work on budget solutions long before session began. Unfortunately nobody took us up on the offer. Instead we are being called back into a special session to raise taxes on people who, in many cases don’t have a job, to pay for raises for those who do.”

DeBolt noted that between Jan. 2008 and Dec. 2009, 173,500 private sector jobs have been lost, while nearly 8,000 government jobs were added. He said there has been a shift from a priority of government process, to a mentality that government is the priority.

“It is unbelievable that when so many people have lost their jobs; the Democratic majority is so adamant about raising taxes that they ignored the will of the people and overturned the Taxpayer Protection Act (Initiative 960). I still firmly believe we could have balanced the budget without raising taxes and still protected our state’s most vulnerable citizens,” said DeBolt.

DeBolt said he is proud of the leadership his House Republican colleagues showed in making positive changes to protect the public from dangerous criminals and working to ease burdensome regulations on small businesses.

· House Joint Resolution 4220, would expand discretion for judges to deny bail for suspects facing a possible life sentence. The constitutional amendment sponsored by Rep. Mike Hope, R-Lake Stevens, was prompted by the brutal murder of four Lakewood police officers. The measure passed the Legislature and now will go before Washington voters.

· House Bill 2603 would allow businesses an opportunity to comply with state law or agency rules before being fined. This measure is awaiting the governor’s signature.

“While I am disappointed that more of our ideas and solutions weren’t taken into consideration, I’m extremely proud of our efforts and will continue to fight to protect taxpayers and create badly needed jobs for Washington families,” DeBolt said.


Contact: Lisa Fenton, Communications Director: (360) 786-7728


Washington State House Republican Communications