The state’s revenue forecast today revealed the state could bring in another $231 million more than expected, in addition to the $2 billion more the state will bring in between the 2011-13 budget and the 2013-15 budget. The caseload forecast later revealed $90 million in savings as a result of reduced enrollment in schools, correctional facilities and social services.
Reps. Dan Kristiansen and J.T. Wilcox, the leader and floor leader of the House Republican Caucus respectively, provided the following responses:
“Today’s revenue and caseload forecasts are good news for our economy. They should also lay to rest the Democrats’ argument that tax increases are needed to balance the operating budget,” said House Republican Leader Dan Kristiansen. “We already had enough revenue to properly fund the priorities of state government – including a greater investment in K-12 education driven by the McCleary decision. The responsible thing to do would be to dedicate this additional revenue to our public schools and budget reserves.”
“The revenue forecast shows us that spending is up on big ticket items, mostly due to low-cost financing, resulting in improved sales tax revenues. While this should make it easier to reach a budget agreement, we must be careful to not create a bow wave for the future. Our manufacturing sector is slow, and with the constant drumbeat of major employers moving operations out of Washington, I am concerned about how this will affect our economy long term,” said Wilcox, R-Yelm. “I remain confident we can adopt a budget that does not hold school children hostage to tax increases and complete our work before the next biennium begins.”
Today is the seventh day of the second special session, which began June 12.
For more information about House Republicans, visit: www.houserepublicans.wa.gov/about-us.