Sen. John Braun expressed disappointment with the House Democrat budget proposal made public today, noting how eerily similar it is to Gov. Jay Inslee’s plan – to the point of raising tuition at Washington’s four-year colleges by the same 6 to 10 percent in the next two years.
“This proposal, like the governor’s, is not in the best interest of our state,” said Braun, R-Centralia. “Voters recently rejected a tax on bottled water, and here it is again in the House budget proposal.”
Braun highlighted the Senate’s Ten-Three-Fifty plan as representing a stark contrast to the approach taken by the House. The Senate provides the most money to higher education out of all three budgets introduced, and is the only budget that actually lowers tuition without raising taxes.
The Senate plan to cut tuition by 3 percent also allows the State Need Grant to expand service to 4,300 additional students, and fully funds the Guaranteed Education Tuition program.
“At the end of the day this is about priorities,” Braun said. “The House Democrats’ priorities don’t match up well with their budget. They say higher education is very important but increase tuition by five percent. They say jobs are very much needed right now but propose tax increases exceeding a billion dollars. I just don’t see how this helps our state get back to work, or how it makes college more affordable to the working-class families living in Washington.”
The Democrats have yet to pass their budget proposal through the House of Representatives, at which time negotiations between the House and Senate leaders will begin in earnest.
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