Earlier this week, the House released a new $33.7 billion spending proposal…a sign that they are finally taking budget negotiations seriously. The proposal released this week represents an improvement over the original House budget but while the lower level of spending is welcome, it’s unconscionable that more than 75 percent of the reductions would come from education. Education should get our first dollars, not our last dime.
In all, the House budget rewrite would put $217 million less towards education than the bipartisan plan the Senate approved during the regular session. Much of the education spending in the new House proposal is based on higher taxes, fund shifts from other accounts or pushing appropriations into the next budget cycle. Continue reading →
After years of one-party rule in Washington state government, Democrat and Republican senators announced today that they have formed a Majority Coalition Caucus to lead the Senate during the 2013 legislative session. Twenty-five state senators have committed themselves to the new majority group, including Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, who will also chair the state’s capital budget committee.
“Senators who serve on the capital budget committee have typically been very cooperative and bipartisan, and I expect that tradition to continue in the 2013 session,” Honeyford said. “As far as the Majority Coalition goes, it was clear to me that our citizens were tired of business-as-usual, partisan politics and lawmakers needed to find some common ground on which to make a stand.” Continue reading →