One week into the first “special session” of the Legislature and I’m working hard to make sure that the 2013-15 state budget doesn’t include any new or increased taxes. Last week mostly consisted of budget negotiations, ceremonial bill signings and meetings of policy committees, and now there are just three weeks left in the 30-day session to reach consensus.
The Majority Coalition Caucus, a Republican-dominated alliance of fiscally conservative state senators, approved a bipartisan budget during the regular session that was balanced and made substantial new investments in basic and higher education without new taxes. However, the House and governor are insisting on tax increases as a part of their proposals, which is why budget discussions are ongoing.
I’ve been busy connecting with constituents, the news media and stakeholder groups from across Washington to explain our fight for a budget that does not raise taxes on the families and employers of our state.