House Republican leaders issue statements on governor’s budget ideas
House Republican leaders today responded to Gov. Chris Gregoire’s budget suggestions to address the nearly $2 billion budget shortfall.
Rep. Richard DeBolt, R-Chehalis, and House Republican Leader:
“Real fiscal discipline is needed, but it addresses only the symptoms of a much larger problem. For too long the Legislature has ignored the factors contributing to this economic downturn. When it comes to generating tax revenue, state government is its own worst enemy. The state needs to get the weight of big government off the backs of employers and working families. We need to unleash the power of the private sector to create jobs and get Washington working again. This is a vastly better approach than trying to raise taxes on people when they can least afford it.”
Rep. Gary Alexander, R-Olympia, and Ranking Republican on the Ways and Means Committee:
“There are several ideas on the governor’s budget reduction list that we have been proposing for many years. For instance, we included the elimination of the Basic Health Plan and General Assistance-Unemployable in the budget we proposed in the Ways and Means Committee last session. I’m very concerned, however, with the effect that cutting levy equalization funding will have on our rural and property-poor school districts. This funding ensures we provide equal opportunities in education for all students, regardless of whether they live in an urban or rural area.
“Finally, balancing our budget by releasing offenders from prison early should not be an option. Surely we can find a better way to balance our budget than making our neighborhoods less safe. I understand this is just a point from which to begin discussions. I look forward to bringing solutions to the table that will help create a balanced, sustainable budget.”
Contact: Lisa Fenton, Communications Director (360) 786-7728
###Washington State House Republican Communications