Members of the state Senate today passed the 2014 supplemental operating budget proposal, which was supported by Sen. Jim Honeyford. The Sunnyside Republican noted that last year’s balanced, bipartisan budget was the primary reason for broad agreement on the supplemental budget more than two weeks before the end of the 60-day legislative session.
“The Majority Coalition Caucus produced a budget in 2013 that put more than a billion dollars into education, froze tuition for Washington college students and was projected to balance for four years,” said Honeyford, who represents the 15th Legislative District. “Because of that success there was no need to find places to cut this year. We didn’t have to look for ‘low-hanging fruit’ or waste valuable time trying to prioritize equally important provisions. When budgets are written right the first time, it makes the process that much easier to fine tune in supplemental years.” Continue reading →
“The 15th District has one of the largest Filipino-American populations per capita in the state and I’m proud to represent them in the Senate,” Honeyford said. “Without their unique history and culture in the Pacific Northwest, Washington wouldn’t be what it is today. It’s nice to see that recognized with a Senate resolution.”
Documents dating to 1888 found at an old lumber mill in Port Blakely on Bainbridge Island west of Seattle listed a “Manilla” among the employee roster. It is the first known worker from the Philippines in the Pacific Northwest. Additionally, Filipinos make up the largest Asian/Pacific Islander ethnic population in Washington, home to dozens of historically Filipino communities such as Wapato, Auburn, Bremerton, and others. Continue reading →
Amid a chorus of applause Wednesday, Sen. Jim Honeyford accepted the Washington State Farm Bureau’s Legislator of the Year award for an unprecedented third time. The Sunnyside Republican received the award previously in 2003 and again in 2007.
“It’s always an honor to receive an award, but I’m particularly humbled by this one,” said Honeyford. “Working on our states’ farm, ranch and agricultural issues is one of my highest priorities and it’s truly rewarding to be named legislator of the year by the Washington State Farm Bureau.” Continue reading →
The 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 →
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 →
On April 19 the Senate Transportation Committee approved a bare-bones, no-new-taxes transportation budget for 2013-15. Three days later the House Transportation Committee adopted a separate bill that would impose a 10-cent hike in the state portion of the gas tax over three years, and create or increase an array of other transportation-related fees.
The no-new-taxes nature of the transportation budget didn’t change as it sailed through the Senate (with a 46-1 vote) and the House (vote: 72-25) and on to the governor, who signed it May 20. Although the governor is still cheerleading for more transportation revenue, at least publicly, the reality is this: The Legislature can adjourn for the year without another word about transportation because we already have a new transportation budget in place.
“I am extremely pleased to be able to sponsor this resolution for Mr. Charbonneau,” Honeyford said. “It is not every day the best teacher in the nation comes from your legislative district. I thank Mr. Charbonneau for his dedication to providing a world-class education for the students of Zillah High School.”
Along the way to becoming the 63rd National Teacher of the Year, Charbonneau was named the Zillah School District Teacher of the Year, Educational Service District 105 Regional Teacher of the Year as well as 2013 Washington State Teacher of the Year. The latter put him in the running for the national honor. Continue reading →
Greetings, and thanks for reading my Olympia Report e-newsletter! The 2013 legislative session is well underway, and we’ve just passed our first cutoff deadline. Friday was the last day that policy committees in both the House of Representatives and the Senate could consider bills from their body of origin. This week, only the Senate Ways and Means Committee and Senate Transportation Committee can continue to hold public hearings on bills until fiscal committee cutoff this Friday. After that, it’s two weeks of the full Senate debating and passing bills in the Senate Chamber.
I’m pleased to report that three of my bills have already been passed by the full Senate and are now being considered by House committees. Seven more of my bills have received do-pass recommendations by Senate committees and are now making their way to the Rules committee in preparation for full Senate debate. You can read more about my bills and other issues facing the Legislature this session by visiting my website, jimhoneyford.senaterepublicans.wa.gov. Continue reading →
Washington’s Senate Republicans met privately Wednesday afternoon to elect their leadership team – an event that occurs in legislative election years – and chose Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, to continue serving as deputy floor leader.
“Obviously I’m honored that my colleagues think highly of me,” Honeyford said of his re-election. “I look forward to continuing to work in a bipartisan manner with all members of the Legislature for the good of the people of the state of Washington.” Continue reading →