Washington House Republicans release budget to fund state’s core services without raising state sales tax rate

At a noon press conference in the state Capitol building today, House Republicans introduced the Legislature’s first complete supplemental budget proposal for the 2012 session. Rep. Larry Haler, R-Richland, and member of the House Ways and Means Committee, supported the measure which he calls an “all-priorities budget.”

“With our Fund Education First proposal from earlier this session, we showed what it would be like if House Republicans were writing the budget,” Haler said.  “We would truly pass an education budget first and then move right on down the line and address our priorities.  Today’s budget is a continuation of that effort.  Our caucus members have spent hours defining our principle and priorities and I think this budget is an excellent reflection of that effort.”

Haler said he was pleased with how the House Republican budget treats higher education, especially at a time when many colleges and universities around the state have seen dramatic cuts and higher tuition rates in recent years.

“First thing’s first: our House Republican budget contains no additional higher education tuition increases,” Haler said. “This was one of my top priorities when working with my colleagues on the House Ways and Means Committee.  As the state starts to slowly come out of this recession we must be positioned in such a way that we have the educated workforce in place to take advantage of the opportunities that will inevitably come.  And, as WSU Tri-Cities increases enrollment, it is critical they receive the financial support to stay on track to become a premier bio research university.”

Haler also said that unlike the governor’s budget proposal, the Republican budget fully funds Critical Access Hospitals and the Regional Support Networks Medicaid rates, both extremely important to the Tri-Cities region.

While the majority party has yet to release any budget for the 2012 session, Haler said he expects that to change very soon.  However, with the unveiling of the House Republican budget, he hopes the talk of tax increases will subside considerably.

“I think our budget helps set the stage for the rest of the budget debate,” said Haler. “We’ve showed the media and the public how to fund the core services of government of education, public safety and protecting the most vulnerable without raising taxes on struggling families and employers around the state. From the beginning, we’ve been saying we don’t need to raise taxes – now, we’re showing it.”



Fast Facts

The House Republican budget proposal solves a $1.6 billion shortfall by:

Fund Transfers: $63 million

Unspent Funds (reversions): $160 million

Local Gov. Distribution: $64 million

Feb. Revenue Forecast: $86.8 million

Other items – including the repeal of three tax exemptions and the sale of surplus property: $68.9 million

Savings from reduced caseloads: $335.9 million

Spending reductions: $839.5 million

Leave $650.7 million in reserves

For a more detailed summary of the budget, click here, or visit: https://houserepublicans.wa.gov/files/media/file/AlexanderBudgetOverview.pdf

To view the House Republican budget page with more details, click here, or visit: https://houserepublicans.wa.gov/current-issues/hrc-budget/


For more information, contact Brendon Wold, Senior Information Officer: (360) 786-7698


Washington State House Republican Communications