Rep. Drew Stokesbary, R-Auburn, and ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, released the following statement regarding the 2019-21 operating budget passed by the Legislature Sunday:
“We entered the 2019 legislative session in the best financial position since the Great Recession with a $2.8 billion budget surplus. Yet Democrats insisted on new taxes that will cost Washingtonians an extra $5 billion over the next four years. Taxes that disproportionately hurt the middle class through higher property taxes, higher gas prices, a new payroll tax, and more expensive services. This is unconscionable.
“These new taxes support a budget that increases state spending by $8 billion, an increase of 18 percent over current levels. I am deeply troubled that the majority believes this level of spending growth is sustainable. In times of prosperity, we should be focused on building reserves to prevent the devastating cuts that were required after the last economic downturn.
“I was also dismayed by the process in which the budget was negotiated and passed. The majority spent the entire session focused on an unpopular capital gains tax, only to pivot in the 11th hour and propose brand new taxes. Taxes that were rushed through the process, in the final three days of session, with absolutely no opportunity for meaningful review or comment from Republicans or the public. Washingtonians deserve more that partisan politics. They deserve a budget that represents the voices from every district.”
The above is a press release from the office of Representative Drew Stokesbary (R-Auburn, 31st LD). The Auburn Examiner has not independently verified its contents.