Operating budget passes Senate 39–10, heads to House and then to governor for signature
OLYMPIA…Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, issued the following statement about the Senate’s passage today of a 2017-19 operating budget, which makes historic investments in K-12 education in Washington.
The budget received a strongly bipartisan 39-10 vote and now moves to the House of Representatives. Upon passage in the House, it goes to Gov. Jay Inslee for his signature. If signed by the governor before the new fiscal biennium begins Saturday, it will avert a partial shutdown of state government.
“Meeting our paramount duty to fully fund education has been a long road, but the Majority Coalition Caucus has led the journey. Since taking control of the Senate, we have increased spending on education by 62 percent. Only after five years of our leadership has Washington returned to the Spellman-era standard of spending more than 50 percent of the budget on education. Five Democrat governors couldn’t accomplish this. This is a great day for Washington’s kids.
“We simply can’t spend enough to make the teachers’ union bosses happy, but this budget is about children and their parents – the hardworking taxpayers who are tired of having the quality of their kids’ education being dependent on their ZIP codes. No more.
“More school districts will see an increase in funding. And by simultaneously increasing the state property tax for schools by 81 cents while capping local school levy rates at $1.50, more property owners will see tax relief. This levy reform is key to providing statewide equity, which is essential to satisfying the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision.
“In addition to the successes in K-12, this budget is balanced over four years, protects jobs, encourages manufacturing and other industries and truly protects the most vulnerable in our society. Both sides made compromises, but that’s how everyone’s needs get considered in the process. Divided government is difficult but necessary to ensure all of Washington has a voice.”