Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Today the Legislature will adjourn sine die to close the 105-day 2011 session. The trouble is that the Legislature is nowhere near completing its work on the 2011-2013 operating budget. I have believed from the beginning that we had sufficient time to turn out a responsible and balanced budget that prioritized K-12 education, public safety, and care for the most vulnerable.
Unfortunately, both the House and Senate budget proposals make unacceptable cuts to our public schools while avoiding structural reforms. The fact is that we expect too much from government, and this hinders government from fulfilling its core functions.
All of this means that we'll be going into special session next week. Legislators will return to Olympia to negotiate and vote on a series of “NTIB” bills—necessary to implement the budget. These include Democrat efforts to repeal tax incentives and to impose or increase fees. It's my hope we can work quickly to produce a budget within our means without depending on new revenues.
This morning I attended the Puyallup Kiwanis Good Friday prayer breakfast. It was good to see so many friends there. Former Montana Governor Judy Martz had a lot of inspiring things to say, and she drew enthusiastic applause when she described her philosophy of budgeting: “You can't go shopping without money.” If only we could impress that idea on more legislators!
468 John L.O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
360-786-7968 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000