Dear Friends and Neighbors,
During the call, you can ask questions by pressing the STAR key (*) on your telephone at any time, take part in poll questions or simply listen-in to the conversation. This is a great way for us to hear directly from folks in Whatcom County about what issues matter most to them, and to provide an update on the 2015 legislative session.
I hope you can join us!
House Democrats release their 2015-17 budget proposal
Today the House Democrats released their proposal for a 2015-17 budget. I serve on the House Appropriations Committee where the proposal will first be considered. Tentatively, the plan is to hear the proposal during a public hearing on Monday at 1:30 p.m. and debate the bill on the House floor later in the week. Click here for the available documents related to this budget proposal.
Here are some of the details of the proposal:
- Raises spending from $33.8 billion in the 2013-15 biennium to $38.9 billion for 2015-17.
- Includes nearly $1.5 billion in new and increased taxes: capital gains tax, ending several tax exemptions, and increasing the B&O tax service rate again.
- Eliminates the state spending limit and leaves an ending fund of only $4 million for the 2017-19 biennium.
I've mentioned this before – the state is expected to get $3 billion more in revenue for 2015-17 compared to 2013-15. Even with these additional funds, lawmakers must prioritize spending and look at opportunities to streamline archaic government processes before asking taxpayers for more money.
I want to hear your thoughts on this proposal. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or comments you want to share, and click here for a full list of House Appropriations Committee members' contact information.