Rep. Vincent Buys, ‘operating budget put negotiations on the right path’
On June 28, the long-awaited state operating budget was voted out of the House 81-11. Rep. Vincent Buys voted to support the budget. A 'yes' vote is a rarity for state Republicans who have had no influence in shaping the budget during recent years.
“As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, voting 'yes' on this compromise budget, ensures that conservatives continue to have a seat at the negotiating table,” said Buys, R-Lynden. “This budget is a start down the correct path of compromise and with continued negotiations we will have an even better end product in future years.”
The 2013 operating budget:
- dedicates $1.03 billion in enhancements for K-12 education;
- supports higher education by not increasing tuition for the first time in years;
- provides promised relief for thousands of businesses who were soon going to be exempt from high Business and Occupation taxes;
- does not make cuts to services for the most vulnerable;
- and protects future generations by preserving the rainy day fund.
However, Buys said there are key parts of this budget that need to be re-worked. Of those elements, Buys said he is most averse to fund transfers out of the Public Works Account which takes money from essential projects in Whatcom County.
“This budget is miles from where we could have been,” said Buys. “I have long opposed the Bracken decision which leaves the state open to future lawsuits. I believe expanding Medicaid will eventually lead to higher health care costs for seniors and middle class families… people who are already struggling. All of those components are present in this budget. But, we were up against a critical deadline in order to keep more than 25,000 people employed. And, the citizens of Whatcom County will benefit from this bipartisan effort.”
###Washington State House Republican Communications