Washington State House Democrats


Week 16 Update from Rep. Farrell

Dear Friends,

I wish I weren’t saying this in June, but here it goes anyways: Greetings from Olympia!

As you may have heard, budget negotiations have been tough down here. The House and Senate budgets started over a billion dollars apart. Our original budget closed 15 tax loopholes to help us fund our McCleary (K-12) obligations, while the Senate’s budget relied on unconstitutional shifting of funds, gimmicks, and slashes to our our social safety net. Earlier this week, the House unveiled our compromise “go home” budget in a final effort to get our business done before our special session ends on Tuesday, and save taxpayers from a second special session.

It is a responsible budget that is balanced over 4 years – something required by a bill we passed last year in an effort to make our budget process one of the most stable in the country. When coupled with its companion Education Investment Act (HB 2034) it still puts a solid down-payment on K-12 education, while keeping our social safety net intact and funds available in our rainy day fund.

Is this budget perfect? No. The original House budget was a better reflection of Washington’s values, but with 6 days left in session, we were willing to make a reasonable compromise, and I’m hoping the Republican-controlled Senate acts before June 11th or they face putting us on a path to a prolonged shutdown of state government. I am hopeful that the Senate will recognize that we have taken a step towards their position in good faith, and I hope they will do the same. The time is past for grandstanding and politics – it is time to govern. This budget keeps our commitment to our children’s education while closing a few unnecessary tax loopholes. Once again – kids win, corporate loopholes lose.

I am hopeful that the next time I write you, we will have passed a general operating budget for the 2013-2015 biennium.

Keep in touch

As always, I welcome your comments, feedback, and visits! You can reach me at jessyn.farrell@leg.wa.gov. I’m also happy to meet with you in the district.  If I’m not available, my Legislative Assistant Nigel Herbig is always happy to pass your concerns on to me.

All the best,