The Current | April 28, 2013

The Current

Your citizen Legislature • Washington House Republicans • April 28, 2013

Rep. Dan Kristiansen

Letter from Leadership

It is the last day of the 105-day legislative session and we have just adjourned. Unfortunately, a special session is on the horizon -- an outcome that is disappointing for everyone. 

We are headed to overtime primarily because of one issue: the operating budget. The governor and House Democrats want to spend roughly $1 billion more than the state plans to take in for regular tax collections in the next budget cycle that begins July 1. To do so, they would increase taxes on Main Street sectors of our fragile economy.   

Our state plans to take in $2 billion more in tax collections in the upcoming budget cycle than the current one (2011-13). With this in mind, House Republicans and the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus believe taxes should not be raised and the operating budget can be balanced by setting priorities. We are also advocating for reforms that would help grow our economy and ensure accountability in our public schools that the governor and House Democrats have opposed. 

Some things are worth fighting for -- no matter how long it takes. We don't want a special session, but the alternative is accepting an approach that has led to many of the problems our state faces today. 

Governor Inslee has been summoning state lawmakers to his office to talk about various issues. We appreciate his invitations and involvement. If there is one person in Olympia who could bring the two sides together to agree on one approach, it is the governor. All he would have to do is keep his promises to oppose tax increases and grow the economy. The governor made these promises publicly at least seven times -- not only as a candidate, but after being elected. If tax increases were taken off the table, the budget debate would simplify and move forward.

We respect the governor and want to work with him, but he should be held accountable for his promises. It is what voters expect and deserve. We will continue to share our solutions (see below) with the governor, his team and all Democrats. 

In closing, I want to thank my House Republican colleagues for electing me as
their leader yesterday. It is an honor to lead such a talented, dedicated and compassionate group. You can learn more here.

Please stay involved in the legislative process and share your perspectives with us. We appreciate it.

In your service, 
Rep. Dan Kristiansen 
39th District 
House Republican Leader

Solutions rewind

"I would veto anything that heads the wrong direction and the wrong direction is new taxes in the state of Washington."

—Jay Inslee
The Seattle Times
October 11, 2012

To read the statements made by Governor Inslee promising he would not support tax increases and grow the economy, click here.

media availability

Media matters 

We held our last media availability event with the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus on Wednesday. We answered questions from reporters and talked about the budget, education and jobs. You can watch the event here or by clicking on the picture above.

You can find last week's event here.

Which interest groups spend the most money in Olympia? 

There are a lot of interest groups in Olympia lobbying for their causes. You can read about which groups spend the most money here.

We represent struggling taxpayers and employers that can't afford to send any more money to Olympia and want more accountability.

Did you know?

When a bill reaches Governor Inslee's desk, he has three options: sign it; veto it; or allow it to become law without a signature.

The governor must act within five days, not counting Sundays, during the legislative session. He must  act within 20 days, not counting Sundays, after the legislative session adjourns.

Source: Washington State Constitution, Article III, Section 12.

Reps. Steve O'Ban and Jan Angel

Veteran employment bill signed into law 

A bill that will assist veterans in their job search as they prepare to transition to civilian life was signed into law on Thursday. 

The idea for House Bill 1537, sponsored by Reps. Steve O’Ban and Jan Angel, originated from a local veteran they know. To learn more, click here.  

Find us online 

Need to contact us? Member information can be found here and staff contacts here.

The Current

House Democrats vote to raise taxes by $879 million

House Democrats finally passed their controversial tax increase package off the House floor on a narrow 50-47 vote Wednesday. Their plan would raise taxes by $879 million on our fragile economy. 

We fought against these tax increases and will continue to do so. You can find some of our House floor speeches here and here.

House Bill 2038 would  hurt many sectors of our economy, such as bottled water, travel agents, high-tech research and development, prescription drugs, import commerce, and extracted fuel. It would also impact several service businesses. This would have real consequences for individuals and families.

House Democrats originally targeted beer makers, insurance agents, dockworkers, and janitorial services, but they were taken out of the bill after compelling public testimony you can find here and here.

This is an issue that reveals major differences between Republicans and Democrats. One group wants the state to set priorities and live within its means; the other  wants the state to spend more than it plans to take in and raise taxes to reach that amount.

The tax increase issue is central to the budget debate. Please stay tuned.

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