Schoesler says better choices found in Senate Republicans’ budget approach

OLYMPIA…Sen. Mark Schoesler voted today against the new Senate majority’s supplemental operating budget, which makes adjustments to the 2017-19 operating budget adopted last year. He made this statement following the caucus-line vote on the spending plan.

“I appreciate that the Senate Democrats’ budget is respectful of the state’s four-year balanced-budget law, and protects much of the historic investment we made in K-12 education last year. But their budget also reflects the kind of things you see when liberals who have been out of power for years find themselves back in charge with billions of dollars in unexpected revenue on their hands. How else can you explain their decision to drop $700,000 on yet another study of a state bank?

“The majority’s offer of partial, next-year property-tax relief is underwhelming, considering there’s enough revenue available to offer full relief this year. And I can’t believe they are continuing to resist tax fairness for non-aerospace manufacturers across our state, when it was already accounted for in the budget last year and won supermajority support before the governor vetoed it. The lack of support for tax fairness in this supplemental budget was enough by itself to get a ‘no’ from me.

“The Republican alternative I supported would have provided nearly $1 billion in property tax relief and cut tuition for community and technical college students while making historic investments in mental health treatment – all while supporting tax fairness for manufacturers, and leaving our reserves intact. I hope my Democrat colleagues will take a second look at their priorities based on the alternative we proposed, and come up with a better final product worthy of bipartisan support.”