In Olympia, the state House passed a supplemental operating budget Friday that increases spending on government programs without relief for taxpayers. Republicans warned new spending obligations created in the Democrat spending plan won’t be able to survive the next recession. Washington House Republicans‘ John Sattgast reports.
SATTGAST: Say goodbye to that state budget surplus. After nearly six hours of debate, Democrats approved a supplemental operating budget plan Friday night that spends two-billion of the two-point-four-billion-dollar surplus – but no tax relief.
House Republicans proposed two alternative tax relief budgets. This is House Republican Budget Leader Representative Drew Stokesbary with the first plan.
STOKESBARY: “We can vote for this striker, which as I mentioned, will fully fund the governor’s budget, which was completely adequate two weeks ago. We can deliver 30-dollar car tabs for our constituents. We can exempt basic personal necessities, like hygiene products, diapers, and breast pumps that we always talk about, but have never done. We can fully fund the Working Families’ Tax Credit that so many in this chamber want to fund.”
SATTGAST: Representative Ed Orcutt also spoke in favor of the other Republican plan that would have provided 600-million dollars a year in property tax relief.
ORCUTT: “And sometimes the best way we can help people is to provide them with tax relief.”
SATTGAST: Majority Democrats rejected both alternatives in favor of their proposal that spreads the surplus across state agencies and leaves only 59 million dollars. House Republican Leader Representative J.T. Wilcox warned that spending the surplus puts the state at risk for severe budget deficits in case of a recession.
WILCOX: “And we have some real clouds. We have the Coronavirus. We have the oldest recovery in the history of the United States. We have one of the leading companies in our state that is experiencing really difficult times.”
SATTGAST: House Democrats approved their measure on a party-line vote. Budget writers will now work on details for a final proposal before the legislative session ends March 12th. John Sattgast, Olympia.