Update from Olympia
March 30, 2017
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How much is enough?
Monday, the House of Representatives’ majority Democrats unveiled their budget proposal, which shows where they think our state’s priorities should be. I am not thrilled with the proposal. The House is proposing an increase in state spending of $6.4 billion, paid for with $3 billion in new taxes on small businesses, capital-gains income and real estate. They have also done away with the current property-tax increase cap. One bright spot, however, is that they have finally put forward a budget that is balanced, something that hasn’t happened for the past 4 years.
I do not think that now is the time to raise taxes. Again, the state is already collecting more taxes than expected – $3 billion more. Even with their significant increases in taxes and spending the House majority still fails our students by continuing the inequitable funding of our schools. Their plan actually puts less money into K-12, falling short of our proposal by $500 million.
The House plan funds schools by imposing taxes on daycares, drug and alcohol treatment centers, hospitals, and environmental cleanup. It doesn’t makes sense, considering all the hysteria around affordable health care and protecting our environment, that they would choose to target those industries with a 20-percent increase in taxes.
We don’t know when the House will adopt a budget that it can negotiate with, but it needs to be soon so we can begin working together to find compromise and prioritize the real needs of state government. I hope that one takeaway from the town halls this weekend was my commitment to find solutions that work for the people in our district.
A new way to communicate
Senate rules have recently changed, allowing me to have a legislative Facebook page. Please follow me (@SenatorBarbaraBailey) to receive updates on my work here in Olympia.
Staying in touch
It is an honor to serve as your state Senator. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office with questions or concerns regarding your state government. Please note that my office location in Olympia has changed.
10th District Senator
407 Legislative Building
P.O. Box 40410, Olympia, WA 98504
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