Budget Update: Day 24 of the Special Session
The end of the 2015 special session is just over a week away. The Legislature was convened by the governor for 30 days to finish work on the operating budget that should have been completed in the 105-day regular session. During that time the Senate passed a complete, no-new-taxes budget that puts education first by increasing education spending by $2.7 billion, including $440 million for teacher pay raises and pensions.
Twenty-four days into the special session budget negotiators continue working to build a balanced and sustainable budget that reflects the priorities of our state. I believe that we can accomplish that task without additional taxes. The state is projected to receive an additional $3 billion and the latest revenue forecast showed that economic growth is continuing to fill the state’s coffers.
Monday the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council announced that revenues continue to grow, without raising taxes. The state is projected to bring in an additional $400 million over the budget cycle.
Since the governor announced his budget that required $1.4 billion in tax increases last December, economic growth has increased revenue projections by $1.1 billion. Gov. Inslee recently said that his tax package was no longer necessary.
Raising taxes wasn’t necessary to fund the priorities of state government during the regular session, and now, more than ever, it is time to end the special session with a budget that lives within the state’s means.
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your state senator.
20th District Senator