Rep. Harris’ statement on House spending plan

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CONTACT: Kent Livingston, Public Information Officer | 360-786-7031

Rep. Harris’ statement on House spending plan


The House of Representatives today approved a bill that would make reductions of $340 million for the current fiscal year budget. The approved legislation would still leave a $260 million shortfall for the 2009-11 fiscal cycle, which ends June 30 of this year.

Rep. Paul Harris, R-Vancouver, voted against Substitute House Bill 1086 and issued the following statement:

“I believe we must abide by the state constitution which places basic education as Washington's paramount duty. The budget Republicans offered today would better protect K-12 education. Unfortunately, the majority party voted down our striking amendment and chose to go with their proposal, which contained deep cuts to schools. I'm especially concerned this bill retroactively goes after money that has already been allocated by our school districts for K-4 enhancement programs. As a former school board member, I know firsthand how these cuts will impact school districts. Retroactively going after dollars already allocated feels like we are breaking a promise to our schools and kids.

“I'm also concerned this spending plan still does not solve our budget shortfall this fiscal cycle. This is a continuation of what has been done the last few budget cycles – unsustainable spending. The message was clear in November: Come up with some solutions to live within your means during tough economic times just like everyone else. Pushing spending into the next fiscal cycle does not do that. We need to solve these budget problems now in a responsible manner so we are ready to take on a much larger shortfall for the 2011-13 cycle. This just exacerbates the problem.”


Kurt Hammond, public information officer, (360) 786-7794


Washington State House Republican Communications