Chandler votes in favor of final operating budget of 2013 session

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Chandler votes in favor of final state operating budget

 

Today the House of Representatives passed a 2013-15 operating budget in its second special session after the House and the Senate negotiated a final agreement.

Rep. Bruce Chandler voted in favor of the budget, which he said was the most sustainable budget he had seen in years.

“This budget lives within our means. It prioritizes education without holding hard-working families hostage for tax increases, and funds programs and services for the most vulnerable and public safety. It also leaves more in reserves,” said Chandler, R-Granger. “This budget reflects the priorities the people of the Yakima Valley value most.”

The $33.5 billion budget includes:

  • $1.03 billion in new funding for education in response to a state Supreme Court ruling on education funding;
  • no higher education tuition increases;
  • $11 million for assistance to people with developmental disabilities; and,
  • $630 million in reserves for the supplemental budget in 2014, which is 42 percent more in reserve than the previous budget cycle.

Chandler stressed that the education dollars would be directed to proven outcomes and targeted specifically to pupil transportation, all-day kindergarten, reduced early elementary class sizes and evaluations for teachers and principals.

“This additional education funding will directly affect students and give local school districts more flexibility with levy dollars,” Chandler said.

Earlier tax-increase proposals proposed by House Democrats on small businesses, local breweries, out-of-state shoppers and bottled water were taken off the table after public outcry and Republican pressure.

“Hardworking families made it clear they could not afford more taxes, nor did they believe they would get more by paying more,” Chandler said. “Since the current revenue is already growing by $2 billion from the previous budget, tax increases really aren't necessary to fully fund education and other responsibilities of the state.”

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov