Rep. Stokesbary on passage of House Democrat operating budget: ‘no need to consider additional taxes’

  • Saturday, March 30, 2019 7:55am
  • News

The House Republican budget lead, Rep. Drew Stokesbary, R-Auburn, released the following statement Friday regarding the passage of the House Democrats’ 2019-21 operating budget proposal:

“We entered the 2019 session with the largest budget surplus in recent history. Thanks to positive caseload trends and a strong revenue forecast, that surplus now stands at $2.8 billion. With additional common-sense savings and efficiencies, that surplus could grow to $4 to 5 billion. There is no need to consider additional taxes in this fiscal environment, so I’m disappointed the majority would seek to raise taxes by more than $4 billion.

“While I’m discouraged that several of our ideas were rejected, I am pleased the majority did accept a number of key budget amendments proposed by House Republicans, including:

• Increasing Medicaid fraud enforcement, which would save $240 million;

• Providing for more local drug and gang policing in response to the opioid epidemic;

• Raising payment rates for those providing care to seniors and individuals with disabilities;

• Funding programs to reduce veteran suicides;

• Providing a cost-of-living adjustment for retired teachers and public employees;

• Giving additional assistance to mostly small and rural-school districts uniquely affected by the McCleary legislation;

•· Increasing transportation funding for homeless youth and foster children so they can stay in their school district;

• Investing in hatchery production at state and tribal fisheries with an emphasis on Chinook salmon, the Orca’s preferred prey.

I hope that more of our ideas are considered so we can adjourn on time with a budget that funds all of our shared priorities without unnecessary tax increases. I am eager to meet with my fellow budget leaders in pursuit of that goal.”

The budget was approved on a party-line vote, and now advances to the Senate.

More in News

Werden captures Miss Auburn crown; Lindsay takes teen tiara

Cami Werden was crowned Miss Auburn and Maddy Lindsay captured the Miss… Continue reading

Scam alert: Frauds care claiming to be the Medical Commission

The Washington Medical Commission (WMC) has been alerted that scam artists are… Continue reading

Sarah Abdullah is a pharmacist who left Iraq as a refugee. She joined the Welcome Back Center at Highline College and is now only two tests away from gaining Washington state certification to practice her trade. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Recredentialed: Barriers face Washington’s immigrant, refugee professionals

Even with degrees from abroad, it can be difficult for many to get certified in the state.

Sound Transit seeks feedback on Sounder South expansion

Longer trains, adding trips under consideration on Seattle to Lakewood route

Unleash the Brilliance Parent Summit comes to Auburn High School on Feb. 8

The Unleash the Brilliance (UTB) program – committed to closing the achievement… Continue reading

Expect lane closures along Auburn Way South | UPDATES

On Thursday, Jan. 30, utility work by National Plant Services for the… Continue reading

Miss Auburn, Miss Auburn’s Outstanding Teen tiaras up for grabs Saturday

Seven contestants compete for the crown of Miss Auburn, and 13 vie… Continue reading

Volunteers making the Green River more salmon-friendly at Fenster Park

Green River Coalition student intern: ‘It’s about leaving a legacy, something to show the kids 20 years from now. Any day in the soil is a good day for me’

If passed, Senate Bill 6254 would limit the nicotine concentration of vape products, ban certain flavoring chemicals and require vape manufacturers, distributors and retailers to obtain licenses from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. File photo
Lawmakers propose sweeping regulations for vaping industry

Bill supporters cite concerns over health issues and teen use.

Most Read