Sen. Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor today voted in support of the 2017-19 operating budget that was approved by 39-10 in the Senate and 70-23 in the House of Representatives. Bailey, who serves as the Majority Coalition Caucus Whip, offered the following statement.
“Since the Majority Coalition Caucus began governing in 2013, we have made education our top priority. This budget is a continuation of that work. We have been fighting to reverse decades of putting general-government growth ahead of students’ education. That path led to the McCleary court case that we have been working to solve. I believe this budget accomplishes our goal.
“This budget will invest over $7 billion in our education system over the next four years. Recall that the MCC had led by increasing education spending by $4.5 billion to date. Education now represents over half of the state’s budget, a level not seen during decades of Democrat control in Olympia, yet it’s something we’ve pushed for and accomplished in only five years.
“School districts will see an increase in state funding and most taxpayers around the state will see a decrease in property taxes. That is a huge win. In part, the agreement was a long time coming because this was a complex, generational problem, but also because we had to stave off billions in new taxes that House Democrat leaders wanted on personal income, small business and energy.
“Divided government is challenging, but in the end we have a product that reflects the values of all in Washington. Policies in the budget put our state on solid financial footing while protecting the most vulnerable in society and promoting a prosperous future for everyone.”