Statement from Rep. Vincent Buys on Legislature’s passage of operating budget

The Legislature has passed the 2011-13 state operating budget. The bill passed on a 54–42 vote in the House of Representatives. Rep. Vincent Buys, R-Lynden, voted “no” and issued the following statement:

“It’s important people understand what is being considered a cut down here in Olympia. Our state will still have nearly $4 billion more to spend in the upcoming biennium compared to the last budget cycle. Yet, because we are not spending as much as we promised or planned in the last budget, some view this as a budget cut. It cannot be a cut, if we are spending more.

“Not only is this spending plan unsustainable, but its priorities are out of line. In this budget, 41 percent of the reductions come from education while other areas of the budget were reduced by much less. The salary cuts to school employees will be difficult to administer since each school district negotiates its own contract with teachers and administrators. They also use a budget gimmick to administer the school apportionment payments, by pushing the payment into the next budget. The hits to public safety are also reason for great concern, not only for communities and families with more criminals on the street, but there will now be fewer correctional officers in our criminal justice system.

“I just don’t see the real reforms in this measure we need to bring long-term stability to our budget.”

The Senate passed the budget by a vote of 34-13. The measure is now headed to the governor’s desk for her signature.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov