Nealey, Walsh vote to support compromise operating budget bill

State lawmakers voted Friday to approve a two-year $33.5 billion state operating budget and sent it to the governor for his signature. The budget document comes just in time to begin funding the new fiscal cycle of state government, which begins July 1.

The vote in the House of Representatives was 81-11.

Rep. Terry Nealey, R-Dayton, and Rep. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, voted in favor of the budget plan.

Rep. Nealey issued the following statement:

“I’m very pleased that the final negotiated budget provides an additional one-billion dollars toward our state’s paramount duty of education. In addition, it ensures there will be no tuition increases at our colleges and universities for the first time in 28 years. That’s huge, especially for our struggling middle-class families who are largely funding tuition themselves and don’t qualify for grants or other assistance. So it is truly an education budget.

“It also retires about a half-million dollars in business and occupation taxes for small businesses across the state. That will help to free up funding for employers so they can hire more people.

“One of the reasons I ran for office is because I was concerned about the runaway spending in the budget and how taxpayers were being treated as if their money belonged to the government. But this budget puts 630-million dollars into reserves, with nearly a half-billion dollars going into the rainy day fund, which will help protect taxpayers if we have another economic downturn. While it is not a perfect budget, it puts this state on a much brighter path for our children, jobs and taxpayers.”

Rep. Walsh issued this statement:

“Though it did take two special sessions, I’m pleased with the final outcome. My greatest priorities with the budget this year were to not increase taxes on hard-working families and small business, and to protect our most vulnerable populations. We have done both with this budget, and in a strong bipartisan manner.

“I’m especially pleased that the original proposal by House Democrats to make a business and occupation tax increase permanent on small, Main Street businesses was taken off the table after public outcry. This would have severely hampered the ability for businesses, already teetering in this economy, to keep their doors open and would have put more jobs in jeopardy. I’m proud of my colleagues on our House Republican leadership team, who were instrumental in mediating the budget negotiations between the majority parties in the House and Senate, working to provide solutions in difficult times, and staying focused on consensus.”


Washington State House Republican Communications