Rep. Chandler says ‘no excuse for special session’

As the 2015 regular legislative session comes to an end today, Rep. Bruce Chandler, R-Granger, expressed his frustration over the need for another special session to complete the work legislators are elected to do.

Chandler, who is the ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, has been involved in countless budget meetings, negotiations and strategy sessions.  Today, he released the following statement:

“There's no excuse for a special session.  Washington taxpayers have provided us with $3 billion more in tax collections and the Legislature has known about the challenges and obstacles to creating a sustainable 2015-17 operating budget since last year.  There has been a continuing consensus on the priorities: increased K-12 investments, tuition relief and protecting our most vulnerable with mental health reforms.  The two budget proposals before us now, while having substantive policy and spending differences, are not as far apart as in years' past and should be readily negotiable.  The main differences are on where the money comes from.

“I'm disappointed that more effort wasn't put into reaching an agreement earlier on in session.  We've had an unprecedented low number of bills to work on this session.  We've not worked weekends or late into the evening like we've done in previous sessions.

“We also passed an early action supplemental budget that was negotiated quickly and had large bipartisan support.  This should have been a springboard for good-faith negotiations as budget writers worked to hash out the final details.  Instead, Washington taxpayers will once again pay for legislators to go into overtime to fix a problem we've known about for months.

“I remain cautiously optimistic the differences between the two budget plans can be worked out over the next week or two.  I look forward to working with my colleagues to make this happen quickly so that we have a predictable and sustainable budget that invests in education, helps the most vulnerable, increases opportunities for everyone – including the middle class – and protects taxpayers.”


Washington State House Republican Communications