Today is the 60th and last scheduled day of the 2010 legislative session. We're supposed to adjourn by midnight tonight and go home. However, Democrats in both the House and Senate have waited until the last two weeks of the session to craft a supplemental operating budget that would address a $2.7 billion shortfall. They've wasted a lot of time bickering among themselves and now the clock has run out without a final budget agreement.
Tonight, the governor is expected to call a special session — at a cost to taxpayers of of nearly $18,000 a day — so that DEMOCRATS CAN RAISE YOUR TAXES BY NEARLY $1 BILLION!
Part of those tax increases would help to fund pay raises for public employees. This, at a time when more than 359,000 people in Washington are out of a job. That's more than the populations of Spokane, Bellingham, Wenatchee, Moses Lake, Kelso and Puyallup combined!
Unemployment is 10.6 percent in Spokane County.
Why should people who have lost their jobs be required to pay more taxes to state government to fund pay raises for public employees???
The Seattle Times reported today that despite the governor and majority Democrats' claims that they've “cut the budget,” spending is on track to INCREASE!
Here's a portion of the article:
“The budget plans, for example, would cut $78 million from the class-size-reduction initiative, I-728, and millions more from social services and higher education. Total cuts currently range from about $650 million in the House budget to more than $900 million in the governor's. However, the cuts are offset by around $900 million, or more, in increased spending in the budget proposals.”
Click here to read the Seattle Times article.
The $900 million in new and increased spending is nearly the same amount as Democrats have proposed to increase your taxes! They have proposed so many new ways of taxing you, they cannot decide which ones to rule out.
House Republicans have provided solutions that would set spending priorities and balance this budget WITHOUT TAX INCREASES. We proposed a “Made in Washington” jobs plan that would free up resources for employers in the private sector so they could retain employees and hire again.
We have repeatedly offered our solutions and we have been repeatedly turned away by the majority Democrats. We fought on the House floor for 10 hours to protect the will of the people and save Initiative 960 (Taxpayer Protection Act) from being overturned. But the Democrats had the votes to gut I-960 so that it would be easier to raise your taxes. The governor enthusiastically signed the bill overturning I-960.
If the Legislature is in special session for three days at a cost of $18,000 per day, that would be the salary of one teacher for a year!
Tax increases will only further hurt our economy and families, it will drive employers and jobs into Idaho, it will increase unemployment, and it will create deeper budget deficits long into the future.
I believe tax increases are unnecessary and harmful, and I will remain committed to adopting a fiscally responsible budget that makes government live within its means, as you do at home or work.
Call the governor, the House speaker and the Senate majority leader. Tell them NO SPECIAL SESSION and NO NEW TAXES! The number is 1-800-562-6000. Do it now!
Thank you for the honor of allowing me to serve and represent you!