Late Tuesday the Legislature approved a supplemental budget after negotiations dragged on into a special session. Sen. Judy Warnick, R-Moses Lake, voted in favor of the bipartisan proposal that makes minor adjustments to the state’s two-year operating budget approved last year.
“I spent considerable time at the negotiating table to ensure that people in our state came out ahead in this budget,” said Warnick, who was drafted to join the Senate majority’s negotiating team. “It was critical to stand by our principles of responsible budgeting to get the job done. This budget is sustainable so that we can adequately address the challenges that are ahead.”
The 2016 supplemental budget restrains state spending and meets the state’s 4-year balanced-budget requirements. This is in contrast to the proposal from House Democrats that sought to raid the state’s emergency reserves to pay for new state programs, cut nearly $500 million from K-3 class-size reductions and raise taxes.
“I am concerned about the reductions to the Public Works Assistance Account,” Warnick said. “This is a valuable resource to small communities so that they can finance their infrastructure needs, and I am committed to finding a sustainable solution to fund these projects.”
“The biennial budget that was adopted in 2015 turned our state’s spending priorities around,” Warnick added. “We are investing in K-12 education at levels not seen in 30 years; we cut tuition, and limited general-government spending. I am glad that our House counterparts realized the importance of continuing to invest in real priorities for our state’s citizens.
The budget passed in the House of Representatives 78-17 and 27-17 in the Senate.
Budget documents are available online, here.