Governor’s budget plan doesn’t deal with realities of writing a budget

In response to a supplemental budget proposal offered by Washington’s governor this morning, Sen. Andy Hill, the Senate’s chief budget writer and chair of the Ways and Means Committee, provided this response:

“We’ve been waiting four years for the governor to produce a balanced budget — I guess we’re going to have to keep waiting.

“Unfortunately, as has become a yearly tradition, the governor continues to offer plenty of ways to spend taxpayer dollars, but fails to provide a sustainable way to pay for it.

“It’s not clear what the governor wants us to do with this proposal. It’s not helpful for the Legislature because it doesn’t deal with the realities of writing a budget. The Legislature has to write a budget that balances over four years. The governor’s budget proposes a $1 billion deficit during that same period.

“As I said earlier this year — unbalanced budgets don’t count. It’s great to have a wish list, but an equally important part of governing is making the tough decisions on how to make wishes become reality.

“It’s philosophically easy to propose eliminating the same job incentives and tax preferences that have been proposed for years. Given the political reality that those plans haven’t even had support from the House Majority, it doesn’t help us get to a final bipartisan plan. As we work on our Senate plan we’ll consider the actual support of lawmakers which reflects the will of the people they represent and use that when making decisions.

“In the coming weeks we’ll review the proposal in greater detail and get clarification from our staff and the governor’s office as we look further into new ideas that help educate our children and pay for the programs that Washington residents want and deserve.”