House Republican leaders issue statement on today’s passage of early budget savings

With Washington state facing a projected $1.1 billion shortfall between now and the end of the fiscal year next June, the state Legislature passed $588 million in early savings during today’s special session called by Gov. Chris Gregoire.

House Republican Leader Rep. Richard DeBolt, R-Chehalis, and budget leader Rep. Gary Alexander, R-Olympia, voted in favor of the early action items and issued the following statements:

Rep. DeBolt

“House Republicans have advocated for months to develop an early action plan to put us on a course of responsible and sustainable state spending and then hold a one-day special session. I’m happy Republicans were brought into the budget process this time and we could help make that happen.

“I’m pleased we were able to protect the most vulnerable among us, particularly those in the developmental disability community and in nursing homes. In addition, we were able to protect funding for our rural school districts by protecting levy equalization funding.

“We must remember, however, that our work isn’t done. This is just a Band-aid to stop the bleeding. The difficult budget decisions are just beginning. As we move forward, we have to continue finding ways to administer programs in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.”

Rep. Alexander:

“Today’s action is a good, bipartisan first step.  There are things in here that we like, and there are things in here that we don’t like.  All-in-all, this is a balanced approach to a fiscal crisis.

“Eventually, however, state government needs to do what virtually every family and small business in this state has done at one time or another since the beginning of the current recession: prioritize spending within existing revenues.

“If we are truly going to break the cycle of unsustainable budgets, we must significantly reduce the footprint of state government. This means eliminating activities and programs that do not provide core services to our most vulnerable populations or can be done more efficiently by the private sector.”


For more information, contact Lisa Fenton, Communications Director: (360) 786-7728, or

Brendon Wold, Senior Information Officer: (360) 786-7698


Washington State House Republican Communications