Continued dip in revenue forecast necessitates quick action, says Orcutt

New numbers released today by the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council show another $385 million decrease in revenues for the remainder of this biennium, and $809 million less for the 2011-13 biennium.  As a result, the budget shortfall legislators will face this next legislative session is creeping over the $5.5 billion mark.

Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama, is a member of the council and ranking member on the House Finance Committee.  He says the new forecast should spur a reluctant governor and Legislature to take quick action:

 

“Our budgets are getting tougher, that's for certain.  But this new forecast doesn't fundamentally change what needs to be done.  We need budget solutions that work for both the short-term and the long-term.  We need to enact policies that help put people back to work rather than adopting policies that place roadblocks in front of our small businesses.  And we need to enact these changes sooner rather than later.

“While the governor has done what she can with recent across-the-board reductions, the Legislature is in a legal position to prioritize services and make targeted reductions and reforms that will have immediate and long-term effects.  With the Legislature set to be in Olympia for Assembly Days in early December, it makes sense for the governor to call a special session in order to take advantage of early savings.  The sooner we act, the less severe the reductions will be.

“The Legislature failed to take the appropriate action the last two years.  Instead of prioritizing services and making necessary reductions and reforms, the Legislature balanced the budget with one-time federal dollars and with unpopular tax increases that have since been rescinded by the voters.  Elected officials can't continue to make promises for which struggling taxpayers would be required to pay.  Voters want a more responsible, more streamlined government – one that lives within existing revenues.

“While I understand that the Legislature must balance this budget, Legislators must also focus on the economy itself.  This budget should remind us that we're not the only ones struggling with harsh budget realities; families across our state are confronted with their own budget crises.  When we enable employers to start rehiring and get people back to work, revenue will become less of a concern for them and for us.  The quicker we enact policies that get people working again, the quicker our economy will recover.”

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For more information, contact Brendon Wold, Senior Information Officer: (253) 973-0505.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov