Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Hello from Olympia, where we are in the 11th week of the 2013 legislative session. I’d like to say a special thank you to those of you who participated in the telephone town hall on Wednesday, March 20. Nearly 5,000 constituents participated on the call. Senator Parlette, Representative Condotta, and I enjoyed the opportunity to discuss issues with everyone. Thank you for being actively involved in your government!
Quarterly revenue forecast released
On March 20, the quarterly state revenue forecast was released. This is the thermometer that takes the temperature of our economic climate, and guides the Operating Budget proposals we will hear in the coming weeks. It estimates state revenue for the next two years.
Overall, this is probably one of the more positive forecasts we have seen in some time, but our state economy is still struggling to recover.
The general fund deficit is projected to be $1.2 to $1.3 billion. Additionally, the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision could require $1 billion in new education funding.
House Republicans Introduce Fund Education First Budget
Last week, Washington House Republicans unveiled our Fund Education First budget PSHB 1057 in a news conference at the Capitol. The stand-alone, K-12 education budget would: meet the expectations of the state constitution and state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision and protect taxpayers by not raising taxes.
PSHB 1057 would dedicate $15.1 billion to K-12 education in the 2013-15 budget cycle, which is an increase from the previous budget (the amount for 2011-13 is $13.6 billion). This increases the percentage of the operating budget allocated to K-12 education from 44 percent in the 2011-13 budget cycle to 46 percent for 2013-15.
In the coming weeks we will begin to hear other budget proposals, first from the Majority Coalition Caucus in the Senate and then from House Democrats. Governor Inslee will propose what he is calling “budget priorities”. From these four budget proposals, we must arrive at one budget in order to complete our work by April 28.
As always, it’s an honor to serve as your state Representative and thank you for the opportunity to represent you here in Olympia.
122G Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7832 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000