Chair of Senate Republican Caucus said majority’s budget is off-target
OLYMPIA…On Friday the new Senate majority adopted a supplemental operating budget, which makes changes to the 2017-19 operating budget adopted in June. Sen. Randi Becker, R-Eatonville and chair of the Senate Republican Caucus, supported the Republican alternative budget; when it was turned down she withheld her support from the majority’s approach. She offered this assessment:
“With billions in additional revenue coming in from the combination of stable tax rates and stronger economic performance, it’s disappointing that we don’t see more support in this supplemental budget for Running Start, or for pupil transportation. Those are both very important in a legislative district as rural as ours. Also, at a time when the national spotlight is on mental-health issues like never before, we should be able to afford another $75 million for mental-health services – the Republican approach does that but the majority’s budget falls short.
“Our alternative would do more to offset the property-tax spike being seen statewide this year as a result of the long-awaited education reforms approved last year. It does a better job of protecting the historic investments made in education, and it would make good on the commitment the Legislature made to manufacturers statewide in 2017 – meaning the tax fairness vetoed by the governor. It’s too bad the majority turned down not only our complete alternative budget but also the modest changes we suggested as amendments. I could not support the majority’s approach but am hopeful that the final budget is improved in the areas that are lacking in the Senate version.”