House approves operating budget – Chandler warns tax and spend plan is unsustainable

Legislator: Rep. Bruce Chandler
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Competing state operating budget were under debate in the House and Senate Thursday. One measure passed and one was put on hold. John Sattgast reports from Olympia.

John Sattgast: The Senate debate on the budget which began Thursday afternoon spilled over into the early morning hours Friday before senators called it quits. They'll come back later to vote on their proposal.

But in the House, debate lasted only three hours on a 39-billion dollar Democrat budget plan that relies on more than a billion-and-a-half dollars of tax increases, including a new capital gains tax.

Bruce Chandler of Granger is the lead Republican on the House Appropriations Committee. During debate, he summed up House Republicans' disappointment of the Democratic proposal — a plan he says puts tax increases ahead of proposals to reform government and prioritize spending.

Chandler: “When I first came to Olympia in January, I found that our caucus had three top priorities – a budget that was sustainable, that was stable, and that was predictable. And I regret to say, Mr. Speaker, that this budget that's before us doesn't quite make that grade.”

Sattgast: Chandler reminded lawmakers that the state will be bringing in an additional three-billion dollars without raising taxes. He warned that the proposed tax increases to pay for this budget are volatile and risky, and won't help economic recovery. House Democrats approved their budget plan 51 to 47, with Republicans voting no. Lawmakers have only 23 days remaining of the session in which to reach a budget agreement.

John Sattgast, Olympia.


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