Harris issues statements on operating budget and transportation revenue package

On Monday night, one day before the end of the state’s two-year budget cycle, the House and Senate approved a $38 billion operating budget. Rep. Paul Harris, R-Vancouver, voted in favor of the two-year spending plan. He released the following statement:

“Education was a top priority for me and our caucus this session and we came through – passing the largest education budget in state history with a strong, bipartisan vote. There is an additional $1.3 billion going toward education to address the McCleary decision, it reduces class size kindergarten through third grade, and teachers are going to see a pay increase. It also reduces college tuition for students and middle class families and made significant investments in treatment and capacity for our mentally ill.

“Just as significant, we were able to pass this budget without a capital gains tax and carbon tax, and avoid the taxes proposed on service businesses at the beginning of the session. Taxpayers should be pleased with everything we were able to accomplish in this spending plan with no new taxes.”

Late Tuesday night the House of Representatives voted on a $16 billion transportation package. Harris issued the following statement:

“This transportation package picks winners and losers and the citizens of the Seventeenth District lose with this transportation plan. Of the $16 billion proposed in this transportation package, only about $25 million would go to my district. A plan of this magnitude does nothing to address the transportation needs in our region.

“At the end of the day when this plan is fully implemented, Washington taxpayers will be paying more than 67 cents in taxes for every gallon of gas they pump, almost the highest in the nation. Without addressing the transportation needs of Southwest Washington, I cannot support such a massive tax increase on our citizens.”

The bill passed the House by a vote of 54-44, and 37-7 in the Senate. It is now headed to the governor’s desk for his signature.

For more information about Rep. Harris, visit: www.representativepaulharris.com.


Washington State House Republican Communications