State House Republicans have named Rep. Drew Stokesbary, of Auburn, as their new ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee.
Stokesbary served as the assistant ranking Republican on the committee in his last term.
Stokesbary takes over as the House Republican’s lead budget writer for Rep. Bruce Chandler who was appointed as the ranking Republican on the House Rural Development, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.
“I am honored and excited to be chosen for this position. It requires not only a strong understanding of the state’s budget process, but also a recognition of how the state’s budget impacts families across Washington state,” Stokesbary said. “We have some serious decisions before us.
“Washington’s growing economy has produced record revenue growth lately — even with virtually no new taxes, the size of the operating budget has increased by more than 33 percent since I took office less than four years ago,” he said. “But earlier this month, the governor proposed massive new taxes and an additional 20 percent budget increase. This is unsustainable and irresponsible, and I look forward to leading House Republicans as we present a better way forward for Washington state.”
The Appropriations Committee considers the operating budget bill and related legislation, bills with fiscal impacts to the operating budget and other fiscal issues like pension policy and employee compensation.
Stokesbary will also continue serving on the House Finance Committee, which considers issues relating to state and local taxes, including new tax proposals, tax exemptions and tax rate changes.
“Sitting on these two fiscal committees, which together consider both the revenue and the expenditure sides of the state’s ledger, will allow me to be intimately involved in the decisions regarding Washington’s future fiscal policy,” Stokesbary said. “I anticipate a lively debate in these committees over the extensive new taxes and spending proposed by the governor and majority party.”
The 2019 legislative session starts on Monday, Jan. 14. Stokesbary will begin his third term representing the 31st Legislative District.