STATEMENT: Final budget update even worse for families, says Wilson

OLYMPIA… Sen. Lynda Wilson, Senate Republican budget leader, said this about the 2021-23 supplemental operating budget adopted this evening by the Legislature’s Democratic majorities.

“This budget offered no direct financial relief for our state’s families when the Senate majority passed it less than two weeks ago. It’s gotten worse since then, as impossible as that sounds. The compromise adopted in the Senate and House today doesn’t even offer the free entry to state parks and fairs that the Democrats had been dangling in front of families.

“Inflation at a 40-year high, gas prices are rising to historic levels, and the majority is tapping the state’s 15-billion-dollar surplus to support a tax break for… the motion-picture industry. The budget adopted today adds five billion dollars in spending to the base budget passed last year, which is unheard of, yet there is zero inflationary or tax relief for the average Washington family.

“Our proposals for temporary, immediate gas-tax relief and permanent property-tax relief never received serious consideration. The Republican bill to make diapers tax-free had bipartisan sponsorship and was passed in the Senate just last week, but the Democrats said no to using a tiny fraction of the surplus to make that tax exemption a part of the budget. These are things the people of our state should remember when they wonder whose side the majority is on.

“The majority claims this budget offers ‘strategic’ relief. Far too many Washington families are going to find they simply don’t fit into the Democrats’ strategy. Our colleagues act like all those extra billions belong to them, and are refusing to let families keep more of their own money. The lesson here is, when Democrats control the purse strings government is always going to come out ahead.”