In the waning hours of the 2014 legislative session, members of the state Senate – along with the House of Representatives – adopted a supplemental operating budget that will continue to fund state activities. Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, says he voted in favor of the proposal because it put the right priorities first.
“Supplemental budget years aren’t supposed to be another chance for the Legislature to spend more money; they’re meant to deal with emergency situations and make minor corrections to the course set by the biennial budget the previous year,” said Honeyford, who represents the 15th Legislative District. “I’m happy to report that the MCC budget we passed stuck to the basics and provided additional funding only to key areas in need.”
The Legislature is required to adopt a biennial operating budget in odd-numbered years; it may pass a supplemental budget in even-numbered years to make minor corrections to the two-year budget. This was the first time since 2009 the Legislature has started its annual session without facing a budget deficit and the 2014 budget proposal kept the state on that track.
Among its many highlights, the supplemental operating budget would:
- Extend the freeze on tuition hikes enacted by the Majority Coalition Caucus’ biennial budget passed last year, reaffirming that the state is serious about making it easier for everyone to get a higher education;
- Provide for tens of thousands of job opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields; and
- Invest millions in other K-12 STEM programs.
Honeyford added he was proud to have been able to get the job done on time by passing a bipartisan budget that contained no new taxes.