Senate budget moves state forward with no new taxes

The Senate Majority Coalition’s budget proposal makes education the top priority and delivers tax relief and college affordability to families across Washington without raising taxes. Senate budget leaders released their 2015-17 state operating budget proposal today committed to capturing savings and keeping the state’s economy moving with more investments in education.

“Our state is projected $3 billion more in revenue over the next two years without raising taxes. I have been committed to spending tax-payer resources effectively and responsibly. The additional $3 billion is more than enough to meet our constitutional requirements to fund education and continue to provide essential services that protect the vulnerable,” said Braun.

Braun, R- Centralia, notes the Senate’s 2015-17 spending proposal invests an additional $1.3 billion toward basic education, cuts college tuition by 25 percent, and adds over $70 million for mental health services, all without raising taxes on working families and small businesses.

Braun said the Senate proposal is the best path forward compared to the House majority’s plan, which would raise state spending by 15 percent and require a $1.5 billion in tax increases.

“I believe middle class families and small businesses would be thrilled with an 8 percent increase in their income. It is disappointing to me that the House majority is saying that an 8 percent increase is not enough for the state,” said Braun.

Braun believes the people he serves in the 20th Legislative District will see the Senate budget as a better way to move the state forward: protecting taxpayers, family budgets and vital services.

“We are putting forth a strong budget that is balanced, sustainable and best of all, it doesn’t need new taxes. We aren’t making unnecessary cuts or slashing the social safety net; we are prioritizing our state’s resources to invest in education and protect the vulnerable, not grow government for special interests.”

Budget negotiators need to reach agreement no later than Sunday, April 26 for the Legislature to conclude its 105-day session on schedule.