Tag Archives: Mike Carrell

Budget negotiations continue as Senate mourns lost colleague

060713The special session has kicked into a higher gear as we approach June 11th, the 30th and final day of the special session under Washington’s constitution. Earlier this week the governor voiced how he likely would call a second special session to begin immediately if Tuesday comes and goes without a budget agreement. Perhaps that spurred majority leadership in the House of Representatives to finally get serious about budget negotiations, because on Wednesday they offered a new spending proposal.

The good news is that the House proposal scaled back its original tax plan, as well as the overall level of spending from the budget proposal it approved April 12. The bad news is that the vast majority of those spending reductions are tied to education, meaning that the House’s new approach would harm our state’s students and schools.

I remains focused on working collaborativly to find agreement on not only an operating and capital budget, but also the associated reform bills. My hope is that we will soon vote on a final budget that holds the line on taxes, gives K-12 and higher education the boost they deserve and ensures state government will be more accountable, transparent and efficient. As negotiations continue, I expect things to develop quickly. Continue reading

Senators sign letter supporting AG lawsuit

Today, as Senate Republican Deputy Floor Leader, I delivered a letter to Attorney General Rob McKenna in support of his decision to join a bipartisan, nationwide group of attorneys general challenging the constitutionality of the national health care bill signed into law this week. These senators signed the letter:

Sen. Randi Becker
Sen. Don Benton
Sen. Mike Carrell
Sen. Jerome Delvin
Sen. Mike Hewitt
Sen. Janéa Holmquist
Sen. Jim Honeyford
Sen. Curtis King
Sen. Bob McCaslin
Sen. Bob Morton
Sen. Cheryl Pflug
Sen. Pam Roach
Sen. Mark Schoesler
Sen. Val Stevens
Sen. Dan Swecker
Sen. Joseph Zarelli

“Our caucus has long sought to ensure all Washingtonians have access to high-quality, affordable health care while maintaining our commitments to the vulnerable, working poor and elderly. Over the years we have introduced legislation to accomplish this goal,” the letter stated.

“We believe that the future of our government ‘of the people and by the people’ is in peril when any group sees fit to suspend the constitution and laws in service of their own agenda. …It is vital that our courts address these fundamental constitutional concerns prior to the full implementation of the legislation. We are convinced that a legally sound approach to health reform will be more successful and will better serve our fellow citizens over the long term.”

Senate Republicans have introduced several bills since the beginning of this year’s regular legislative session aimed at protecting Washingtonians from any possible unconstitutional provisions of the Obama health care plan.

Senate Bill 6535, the Washington State Health Care Freedom Act of 2010, would protect employers and workers who refuse to participate in nationalized healthcare from possible fines and penalties. Sponsored by Sen. Janéa Holmquist, R-Moses Lake, it would also nullify in Washington any federal law, rule, order or other act by the federal government violating the provisions of the bill.

If approved by voters, Senate Joint Memorial 8220, sponsored by Sen. Val Stevens, R-Arlington, would put these same protections into Washington’s constitution.

This week, Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, introduced Senate Bill 6890, which would prohibit a federal mandate on Washington citizens to purchase health care.