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Roach: Insistence on $1 billion in new taxes by governor, House Democrats causes special session

As the 2013 legislative session approaches adjournment without an agreement on the state's operating budget and associated policy bills, Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, issued the following statement on the insistence on new taxes by some in Olympia that is driving the Legislature to a special session.

"In the Senate, we've had a great session. We've worked through some tough issues and we were able to come to agreement on a budget that does not raise taxes and the policy bills that go along with that budget. That part of our work is done.

"Unfortunately, instead of reaching agreement on a responsible budget that lives within the state's means, the Legislature will be entering a special session due to the insistence of the governor and the Democrats in the House of Representatives to raise taxes by around one billion dollars in the next two years.

"We know that the people of our state do not want new taxes. As proof, we need to look no further than the recent votes on the two-thirds threshold to raise taxes, the repeal of taxes on soda, candy and gum and the voting down of an income-tax initiative.

"What our citizens are looking for from the Legislature is a leaner, more efficient state government that provides services while living within our means. That's what the Senate budget provides – without resorting to new taxes.

"In the recent weeks I've often been reminded of one of my favorite quotes: 'confrontation is the lifeblood of politics; if that bothers you, maybe you should get into something more sheltered.' Make no mistake – the budget confrontation that we find ourselves in is caused by the fact that the governor and Democrats in the House of Representatives are insisting on raising taxes.

"Those who are insisting on tax increases are not listening to a majority of the people. More than anything, what I want the public to know is that in the Senate, we are listening. We will continue to insist on a responsible, sustainable budget that does not raise taxes."

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