Friday, December 15, 2017
OLYMPIA Republicans are the minority in state government now, but that does mean they’re going away. They are warming to Gov. Jay Inslee a bit.
Republican leaders in the House and Senate have been lukewarm about Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposed budget.
“I’m encouraged by a few components of the governor’s budget plan,” said Senator John Braun of Centralia, the ranking Republican on the Ways and Means Committee.
Mark Schoesler of Ritzville, said: While it’s promising that the governor finally proposed a budget that balances over four years, I call on him to publicly commit to veto any budget that doesn’t.”
Braun gave Inslee credit for “finally” adhering to the four-year balanced budget law in crafting his budget.
He conceded that he is embracing the bipartisan work on the K-12 education funding structure enacted last session.
“I’m glad that undoing the levy reform enacted in the McCleary solution isn’t part of the governor’s budget, but I am concerned about his willingness to raid the state’s reserves,” Shoesler commented.
Braun expressed concern about how Inslee balances the budget, specifically with the carbon tax and its impacts on Washington businesses and citizens.
“I also worry how the governor’s as-yet-unveiled ‘carbon pricing plan’ would affect family jobs in Washington. If he can’t explain the difference between a carbon tax and a carbon pricing plan, then it’s a tax. It IS an energy tax.”
According to the Institute for Energy Research, carbon taxes reduce economic growth and achieve no real environmental improvement.
“The governor’s budget proposal is just a starting point. Now it’s up to legislative leaders to move forward and develop a prudent and responsible supplemental budget,” Braun said.