House GOP leader says lawmakers could forgo 2012 regular session
DeBolt urges lawmakers to come prepared to complete their work in 30-day special-session
Washington State House Republicans are urging lawmakers to come prepared to go to work quickly when they convene for a special session on November 28. Rep. Richard DeBolt, R-Chehalis, today said the only two pressing issues the Legislature needs to address this year is adopting a sustainable supplemental budget and reforms that will get Washington working again. And while these are big challenges, DeBolt said if the Legislature can tackle those two objectives during the 30-day special session, it could adjourn for the year and forego the 2012 60-day regular session. He noted the Legislature would save taxpayers more than $2 million by skipping the regular session.
“The last thing Washington citizens need is for lawmakers to come back to Olympia in January for a 60-day regular session and consider bills that end up costing taxpayers money we simply don't have,” said DeBolt. “If we come to town and get our work done in December, there is no compelling reason to come back a few weeks later.”
The Legislature is scheduled to convene on Nov. 28 to correct a nearly $2 billion state budget shortfall and when it does House Republicans will be advocating for a package of bills aimed at getting Washingtonians working again. DeBolt points out the four-point jobs plan contains reforms that won't cost taxpayers money and some will actually result in savings. The GOP jobs plan includes the following measures:
- Suspend state growth management requirements in counties with significant and persistent unemployment;
- Require permit decisions within 90 days or it is automatically granted;
- Place a moratorium on rulemaking; and
- Recapture our competitive advantage by reclassifying hydropower as renewable energy.
DeBolt said the Legislature has ignored for too long the factors standing in the way of the state's economic recovery. He said the GOP reforms will not only improve job prospects for Washington families, they will stimulate economic activity that generates revenue for schools, public safety and services for the most vulnerable without raising taxes.
“The Legislature must focus on adopting policies that will unleash the power of the private sector and get people working again, and creating a sustainable budget that prioritizes state spending. Once lawmakers have accomplished these goals we should go home and save state taxpayers' money,” said DeBolt. “Keeping lawmakers in town to consider non-essential legislation is wasteful and unnecessary during these difficult budget times.”
The governor announced she will convene the Legislature for a 30-day special session on Nov. 28. The Legislature is scheduled to meet again on Jan. 9 for a 60-day regular session. Rep. DeBolt said the Legislature could hold a pro-forma session, which would meet constitutional requirements, yet not require lawmakers to convene. If the February revenue forecast comes back with another projected budget shortfall, lawmakers could then consider coming back to make necessary budget corrections.
Please contact: Lisa Fenton, Communications Director, (360) 786-7728
###Washington State House Republican Communications