The Current | April 3, 2015

2015 legislative session • April 3, 2015 • 82nd day

The Current

Letter from Leadership 

Dear Friend: 

In a surprise move, the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus (SMCC) decided to unveil, hear in committee and debate on the Senate floor their 2015-17 operating budget proposal this week. In a news conference Tuesday, they explained how their plan would make the largest investment in K-12 education in state history, reduce tuition at four-year institutions, protect the most vulnerable, close certain tax exemptions, and not raise taxes. You can find a one-page summary here.

House Democrats' operating budget

The House Democrats passed their state spending plan Thursday. We would like to thank everyone who took the time to call, e-mail and come to Olympia to testify on this bill. The commentary and responses were thoughtful and effective.    

Every House Republican voted against this legislation. You can watch the arguments we made on the House floor here, and find our budget leader's statement at this link.

While we agree with some of the policy choices, our greatest concerns with the House Democrats' approach are the $1.5 billion in new tax increases and $5.2 billion in new state spending. They want to increase state spending from $33.8 billion to nearly $39 billion -- a 15 percent increase. 

We believe the Legislature can balance the operating budget with existing tax collections. The SMCC has demonstrated how it can be done. Our hope is that we can vote on a final version in the upcoming weeks that is fiscally responsible and helps working families. 

The work ahead

With the Senate operating budget expected to pass early next week, we will take another important step toward finishing our work in 105 days. It will then be time for budget negotiators from the four corners to come together and negotiate in good faith -- like we have the last two years. Our House Republican budget team looks forward to this process and the work ahead. 

You can find an easy-to-understand tutorial on the operating budget in this link

We wish you and your family a happy Easter this Sunday.  

In your service,  

Rep. Dan Kristiansen
House Republican Leader
39th District

Rep. Richard DeBolt

House passes bipartisan capital budget 

The 2015-17 capital budget also passed the House this week. You can learn more in this news release from Rep. Richard DeBolt (pictured), our ranking member on the House Capital Budget Committee

The capital budget pays for state buildings, K-12 schools, colleges and universities, prisons and juvenile rehabilitation facilities, parks, housing for low-income and disabled persons, and other facilities and programs. It is funded primarily through state-issued general obligation bonds, in addition to dedicated accounts, trust revenue, and federal funding.

House Bill 1115 contains the appropriations for all bond- and cash-funded projects and includes $3.77 billion in total spending. It passed 96-2.

House Bill 1166 authorizes $2.18 billion in general obligation bonds to pay for the bond-related spending in House Bill 1115. This measure also passed 96-2.

For basic information on this budget, click here. To find a map of projects, visit this website.


House Democrats block governor's cap-and-trade proposal  

House Democrats rejected the governor's cap-and-trade idea. The bill died in the House Appropriations Committee and was not part of the House's 2015-17 operating budget. 

When Republicans and Democrats work together on solutions for our environment, balanced legislation can move forward. For example, we have passed bipartisan bills that have: cleaned up toxic sites; removed legacy nets; cleared fish passages; addressed derelict vessels in our waterways; and ensured water and fish are free of synthetic and pharmaceutical runoff. We look forward to enacting more solutions in the future.

This week


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