8th District legislators comment on Democrat budget

Rep. Larry Haler, R-Richland, and Rep. Brad Klippert, R-Kennewick, released the following statements today regarding the Democrat budget passing the House of Representatives:

Rep. Haler:
“I absolutely disagree with the budget priorities that I see in this budget.  Our state’s number one priority should be, as the state constitution says, education.  Yet this budget does unnecessary harm to education.

“I have fought to maintain funding for local education agencies and voter-approved I-728 and I-732.  But the majority party has not listened to my concerns.  I have said from the beginning that we should fund education first, make sure we’re taking care of our elderly and developmentally disabled, and then we need to make sure we keep the public safe.  The majority party’s budget fails in all three areas.

“The hardworking families of our state are setting their priorities and living within their means; state government should do the same.  Yet the priorities of this budget do not reflect the priorities of the citizens of this state.  And because we haven’t addressed the overspending in other entitlement programs, we’re going to be right back here again facing an even bigger deficit in two years.  Our families deserve better from their government.”

Rep. Klippert:

“This budget document is 515 pages long and we only received it at 8:30 this morning. We’re into day 103 of the 105-day session, and Republicans haven’t seen this budget before today. The Democrat majority gave us only a few hours before bringing it to a vote. It’s impossible to know all the details of this budget before we were required to vote on it.

“From what I have seen of this document, it is a budget of misplaced priorities. Rather than providing adequately for the education of our children and ensuring public safety, this budget slashes education funding and provides for early release of prisoners.

“At a time when taxpayers can least afford it, this budget adds millions of dollars in new programs, such as providing three months rent for early-released prisoners.

“I’m very concerned that more than $5 billion of one-time money in this Democrat spending plan is budgeted for on-going programs. That means two years from now when we come back to the Legislature in a new budget year, we’re going to be billions more in deficit because this plan uses one-time federal stimulus money for programs that will require continued funding in the future.

“This state needs to change its spending habits to live within its means. The majority party has not done that with this budget.”

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For more information, contact:
Brendon Wold, Senior Information Officer to Rep. Haler: (360) 786-7698
John Sattgast, Senior Information Officer to Rep. Klippert: (360) 786-7257


Washington State House Republican Communications