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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

capitol buildingToday is the last day of the 30-day special session.  I wish I could report to you that a budget agreement has been reached and lawmakers are ready to finish their business.  Sadly, I cannot.

We are now heading into a second special session – expected to start tomorrow for another 30 days – because a handful of Democrats have promised tax increases to their “friends” back home.  When the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council recently released an updated state revenue forecast showing an increase of $106 million for the ongoing 2013-15 budget cycle and an increase of $309 million (on top of the approximate $3 billion of additional revenue) for the upcoming 2015-17 budget cycle, many of us thought the budget logjam would break.  However, it looks like there are some House Democrats who just can’t come to the realization that tax increases are not needed for a balanced, sustainable budget or wanted by the public.
While House Democrats and the governor have been very adamant about wanting new and increased taxes, the governor himself has now backed off his position from December. Read: Inslee says $1.4 billion tax package no longer needed.

We have passed many bills and made significant progress on several issues this year.  It’s now time to pass a budget that invests in our schools, mental health system, college students, and public employees – all while living within our means, which includes $3.2 BILLION in additional tax collections!

Gov. Inslee signs HB 1485, Rep. Haler's bill to help deal with doctor shortages in rural areasOn another note, my bill to help ease doctors shortages in our state was signed into law by the governor recently.  To read more about this, click here.

I’ll continue to keep you updated on the progress – or lack thereof – of things here in Olympia.  In the meantime, as always, feel free to contact with questions or concerns.  I always appreciate hearing from you.

 

Sincerely,


Larry Haler

State Representative Larry Haler, 8th Legislative District
RepresentativeLarryHaler.com
122H Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
larry.haler@leg.wa.gov
(360) 786-7986 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000