Statement from Rep. Dan Kristiansen on governor’s special session announcement
House Republican Caucus Chairman Rep. Dan Kristiansen, R-Snohomish, issued the following statement regarding Gov. Chris Gregoire’s announcement today that a special session will be called for Nov. 28 to address the state’s budget shortfall.
“I support the governor’s position to call a special session. I’ve been very concerned that spending in the new 2011-13 budget, which was adopted by the Legislature in May, continued to ignore the hard realities of the state’s economy and that we would be back in this position of a major re-adjustment. Now I’m concerned that for every day the Legislature waits to address the budget problems, the harder it will be to solve them. It’s like compound interest – only in the wrong way. The longer we put off the inevitable, the more the problem will grow and cost taxpayers. We need to get on this as soon as possible.
“The only other choice would be to have the governor make across-the-board cuts. That’s not a good option, because it takes a meat cleaver to programs that might be working well and may leave other necessary services underfunded. It’s the Legislature’s job to address how money in the budget is spent. We really must determine priorities of government and separate the needs from the wants. In my view, that means putting first emphasis on education, public safety and protection of the state’s most vulnerable citizens, and then reviewing the level of funding for remaining programs that may be wanted, but not necessarily needed. The governor cannot do that with across-the-board cuts.
“I would also urge budget writers to get to work now on a game plan that is ready for action when lawmakers return to Olympia in November so we get to work right away, and so that taxpayers aren’t saddled with additional, unnecessary expenses of a special session at about $16,000 a day.
“Finally, the ultimate solution to resolving this budget crisis is by getting Washington working again. We will not get out of this problem by simply patching and cutting. Consumer confidence will be restored when people are back to work and making steady incomes. We must empower businesses to create jobs in the private sector.”
Kristiansen said he will again be urging passage of the House Republican plan to get Washington working again. Click here for more information on that plan.
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###Washington State House Republican Communications