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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
On May 18 we got word that state tax collections are up by more than $400 million. That makes for a total of nearly $3.2 billion more revenues this budget cycle – an increase of more than 9 percent!
A budget boost of that size should be plenty to pass a two-year state budget that pays for all the necessary functions of government, including K-12 education and programs for the most vulnerable.
However, there are a few legislators on the other side of the aisle who don't think the extra $3.2 billion is enough. They want new taxes and/or tax increases. And unfortunately, their desire for more taxes has slowed budget negotiations.
Because the Legislature couldn't agree on a budget plan on time, we are now in our second “special” session. Budget talks will continue, and hopefully the two sides can agree on a solution.
It's my view, and I believe many of you would agree, that state government must live within its means. In my next update I hope to be able tell you the Legislature has adjourned and we've passed a budget. Aside from the tax issue, the two sides are close enough to put an agreement within reach.
As always, please feel free to contact me with your questions, concerns and ideas. My district office in Mill Creek is open – if you'd like to make an appointment with me or my legislative aide, Cami, just send us an email at Mark.Harmsworth@leg.wa.gov or give us a call at (425) 225-5584.
Thanks, and have a great week.
466 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7892 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000