Special session planned for November to address budget shortfall

 

Today the governor announced she will call for a 30-day special session of the Legislature beginning Nov. 28 to address the state's budget shortfall. Last week, the state's chief economist reported that revenues are still expected to be greater in the current budget cycle than the last. However, the 2011-13 budget passed in May by the Legislature exceeds the latest revenue projections by $1.27 billion.

Rep. Bruce Chandler, R-Granger, was in Olympia today for a House Ways and Means Committee meeting to review the economic outlook and the implementation of the budget passed four months ago. He had this to say about the special session announcement:

“I look forward to preparing for a special session and addressing our budget problem sooner than later. However, we need to ensure we have a solid foundation for the special session to ensure we use the time wisely and accomplish our objective – to pass a sustainable supplemental budget. I agree with the governor that we cannot continue across-the-board cuts. This is irresponsible and short-sighted.

“It's time for more strategic reform. Arbitrary across-the-board spending cuts are no substitute for making responsible and sustainable decisions, and truly prioritizing the state's services.

“The last few rounds of budget cuts have done little to make programs and services more efficient. We cannot punish agencies and activities which are effective and using tax dollars wisely. We can't just do less, we must do what matters the most to constituents. What really matters right now is strengthening our economy and providing more opportunities for individuals and families.

“The actions we take now will determine if we are ready for an economy which will look much different than it did before the recession. Washington will be competing with other states for opportunities and growth, and making the right decisions now will allow working families to flourish.”

The 2011 session ended May 25 after a 30-day special session. The 2012 regular session is scheduled to begin Jan. 9.

Contact: Sarah Stewart, Public Information Officer, (360) 786-7720

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov