Haler says bipartisan Senate budget proposal good for K-12 and higher education

Rep. Larry Haler, R-Richland and a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, released this statement today after a bipartisan group of Senators released an updated budget proposal:

“Today’s budget proposal by a bipartisan group of Senators is a positive step in the right direction.  Budget writers need to continue their work to solve our state’s budget woes quickly and with an eye toward long-term sustainability.

“I am pleased that their budget plan helps keep much of the K-12 and higher education funding intact.  This should serve as a starting point for future budget negotiations.  As a state, our primary duty is education.  We have a state constitution and a recent court decision giving the Legislature clear direction on where our priorities should be.  I believe the bipartisan budget proposal will also help position our state economy for success as we start to slowly crawl out of the current recession.

“However, I am concerned with the pension component of their budget plan.  Skipping a pension payment now will harm retired teachers and continues to kick the can down the road.

“Our House Republican budget proposal did not rely on gimmicks or push payments that are due now out into future biennia.  I would like to see this concept of fully paying our bills now adopted into whatever the final budget solution looks like.

“We can pay our bills, provide the services our citizens need, educate our children, and protect the public and most vulnerable without a general tax increase or relying on budget gimmicks or deficit spending.  I’m hopeful that today’s actions in the Senate lead to a bipartisan, sustainable and accountable budget proposal that we can all vote on in the very near future.”


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Washington State House Republican Communications