It is an enormous disappointment and failure of the Legislature — and specifically due to the stubbornness of the governor and Democrat leaders in the House and Senate — that we are heading into a special session.
Some time today, the Legislature will adjourn the 2015 regular session, two days early from what was supposed to be a 105-day session. Yesterday, Gov. Jay Inslee called for a special session, beginning Wednesday, April 29.
I joined with other House Republicans to sign a resolution asking that if the Legislature adjourned without agreements on the three budgets, that the governor call lawmakers back immediately for Monday morning. It is disappointing the governor decided to give legislators a break when the budgets remain unfinished.
You may be asking, “If the Legislature had 105 days to complete its business, why is it going into a special session?”
There's only one reason we are going into special session: It is because Gov. Inslee and House and Senate Democrats insist on raising taxes by more than $1.5 billion, even though the state is getting a record $3 billion (9 percent raise) in additional revenue without tax increases.
That's right — Taxpayers are going to be paying for the Legislature to go into special session because DEMOCRATS INSIST ON RAISING TAXES!
Gov. Inslee told negotiators he will not sign any budget agreement into law unless it contains “new revenue.” Even yesterday, he told reporters, “The Senate will have to add revenue.” And Inslee said he would not approve tax cuts without new revenue.
This is the same Jay Inslee who, as a candidate for governor in 2012, told the online Seattle news magazine, Crosscut, “the Legislature can raise money to meet a Washington Supreme Court mandate to increase school funding by creating enough new jobs to generate more state revenue — and without raising taxes. 'I think economic growth is the best way forward,' Inslee said.”
Inslee now says we not only need tax increases to pay for his demands, but the Legislature needs to focus on his environmental climate change agenda during the special session. This really shows how out of touch the governor is with the people of Washington!
Senate Republicans have shown they can write a responsible, sustainable budget that funds the priorities of government, increases K-12 education funding by nearly 18 percent – the largest increase in 25 years – and do it WITHOUT RAISING TAXES!
I share the frustration with taxpayers who are upset that the Legislature is going into a costly special session. However, I am willing to stand firm with my colleagues against job-killing tax increases that grow government at your expense.
I ask for your support as we stand strong in our fight for lower taxes, less government and more freedom, which is the foundation of The Freedom Agenda. I welcome your comments!