Washington State House Democrats


House Appropriations Chair Ross Hunter on the Senate Republican budget

Ways and Means“While it is nice that the Senate Republicans have acknowledged our responsibility to fund the McCleary decision, they have done so with a budget proposal that relies on assumptions that are unconstitutional or unsustainable. The Supreme Court has been pretty cranky about this issue, and this budget will do nothing to improve their mood.

“In addition to being unsustainable, some of their decisions seem downright cruel. Providing child care subsidies for parents trying to get back into the workforce was part of the deal when we “reinvented welfare” two decades ago. Cutting it now will not only force single moms back onto welfare, it will perpetuate the opportunity gap in our schools for years to come.

“I am also very concerned with some of the shaky assumptions made in the proposal. There are $157 million in unnamed efficiencies, $40 million in an uncollectable use tax, and $166 million in a school trust transfer that is clearly unconstitutional.

“We have spent the last five years making our budget more sustainable with actions like reducing our long-term pension obligations and cutting staffing at all levels. A budget built on unconstitutional actions and assumptions that are unlikely to come true moves us away from sustainability.”