Buys, Van Werven issue joint statement on passage of 2016 supplemental operating budget
Rep. Vincent Buys and Rep. Luanne Van Werven, both R-Lynden, voted in support of the 2016 supplemental operating budget as passed by the Legislature March 29. The Whatcom County lawmakers issued the following statement regarding the bill's passage:
“Though it took lawmakers a little more than two weeks of overtime to reach an agreement, we were happy to support the budget as passed by both chambers this week. We were tasked with passing a supplemental budget this year, which is meant only for minor adjustments to the two-year spending plan lawmakers passed last year and funding emergencies. The bipartisan budget is a true supplemental budget, puts necessary dollars toward mental health and education, and funds wildfire suppression costs related the 2015 wildfire season.
“We were also happy to support this budget as it sets aside $3 million for on-site worker training at Bellingham Technical College to alleviate problems caused by the idling of Alcoa Intalco's Ferndale plant. Some workers have entered early retirement and, as a result, additional workers are needed to keep Alcoa operational. Several months ago, Whatcom County was hit hard by news that Alcoa Intalco would be ending its aluminum production at the Ferndale refinery. We will continue our focus on preventing the curtailment and work with Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) to achieve affordable energy prices that could keep the plant running. We are thankful for the work of our budget negotiators in ensuring these critical funds remained in the final compromise budget.”
The supplemental operating budget went into effect immediately due to an emergency clause.
###Washington State House Republican Communications