With just three weeks left in the 2012 legislative session, the majority party has yet to release its budget plan to solve the roughly $1.1 billion spending gap. We’ve known about this problem since last summer and, I would argue, my colleagues and I warned the majority party back in 2007 when its budget writers began their spending spree.
About Joel Kretz
Stories by Joel Kretz
It’s no secret Washington is in a financial hole. The current budget is still $600 million in deficit and the projected spending gap for the 2011-13 budget is nearing $5 billion. We believe it is past-time to take bold actions that put our state on solid financial footing. State government needs to get realistic about what we taxpayers can afford, and what we can’t.
I recently hosted a community call in our legislative district. Thousands of constituents participated and, as I suspected, jobs and the economy and taxes and spending were the top issues facing our communities. During the call, I asked participants how they would prefer to solve the $2.7 billion budget shortfall. Here are the results:
Proposed legislation to cut levy equalization stopped – for now
Whoever said, “the best is always saved for last” got it wrong! This past legislative session had a record number of new laws passed – 583 – and one of the worst bills to come up for debate in the final hour of the legislative session was House Bill 1776. This proposal would have cut $60 million from levy equalization funding and allowed wealthy school districts to make up the money by increasing property tax levy lids by four percent, or up to 35 percent.