Chandler ‘disappointed’ House Democrat budget includes $1.5 billion in new and increased taxes, but feels final budget solution is attainable before April 26

House Democrats unveiled the Legislature's first 2015-17 operating budget proposal House Democrat budget proposaltoday.  The plan raises spending from $33.8 billion in the 2013-15 biennium to $38.9 billion for 2015-17 and includes nearly $1.5 billion in new and increased taxes.  Taxes go up by $2.4 billion in 2017-19 and the four-year outlook projects spending to reach $43 billion.

Rep. Bruce Chandler, R-Granger and ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee released the following statement:

“First of all, I'm disappointed the House Democrat budget proposal includes $1.5 billion in new and increased taxes for the 2015-17 biennium.  This grows to over $2.4 billion for the 2017-19 budget.  Raising taxes is the exact opposite message we're hearing from our struggling families and employers back home.  Our economy is still in recovery, and so are our taxpayers.  This isn't going to help our economic turnaround or help stimulate job growth in our state.

“I'm also concerned about the sustainability of this budget proposal.  It eliminates the state spending limit – something that has helped balance state government growth with family incomes – and leaves an ending fund balance of only $4 million for the 2017-19 biennium.  We have an obligation to rebuild trust with the citizens of Washington and I'm not sure this is a budget the public will trust; it doesn't give them much hope that there is an opportunity for a better future.  This is a budget that sets us up for more budget roller coasters in the future.

“I am encouraged, however, that we agree on many issues and can agree on a final resolution within the 105 days allotted for this session.  We agree that education reform needs to be addressed.  We agree that mental health is an important issue and we should continue moving forward in protecting our most vulnerable and continuing to protect the public from criminals.  I anticipate the Senate will have some different ideas on how to deal with each of these issues.  With their input, and continued input from House Republicans, I remain confident an agreed-upon budget solution is attainable before April 26.”


Washington State House Republican Communications