Revenue forecast puts Washington in the red, special session looms

The revenue forecast on September 15 put the state’s 2011-13 operating budget 1.4 billion dollars in the red. It looks like once again the state will run short in meeting its funding promises. Majority party leaders have said an all-cuts budget is unacceptable – leading to the very real prospect that tax proposals will be on the table. I believe more taxes will further hurt families and businesses in this economy. We should look instead at the state’s spending practices.
Soon after the forecast, Governor Gregoire announced she will call legislators back to Olympia for a special session on November 28 to deal with the gap between spending and revenues. I am glad she recognized the need to address these problems sooner than the regularly scheduled session in January.
During this special session my focus will be on determining which state services are priorities and how best we can provide them to Washington citizens, not on raising revenue through increased taxes. Streamlining and cost-cutting should be the Legislature’s number one priority to ensure the state’s operating budget is sustainable long-term.
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