Rep. Mark Hargrove disappointed with stalled budget negotiations, costly special session

With Democratic leadership in the state House and Senate unable to come to an agreement on several key issues, most notably the 2011-13 state operating budget, the Legislature is heading into overtime. Rep. Mark Hargrove, R-Covington, concerned with the lack of action on critical financial issues by House and Senate majority party leaders, issued the following statement:

“I am disappointed with the outcome of state budget negotiations. We knew our financial situation needed quick action and lasting, sustainable solutions within the 105-day legislative session. Now, the Legislature will be called back for a costly special session. I understand difficult decisions need to be made, but that is no excuse for delaying those choices to the point where scarce taxpayer dollars will be wasted on what could be an additional month of legislative business.

“I am also concerned that critical job-creating legislation, like the bill that would reform the workers’ compensation system, were left to wither in committee. Getting people back to work is ultimately the best long-term solution to the budget problems we face. Some good things were done this session, but the folks who sent us here want those leading our state to prioritize their work, namely addressing the spending gap in the current budget and the next two-year budget beginning in July. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, but my hope is budget negotiations will be done with more urgency over the next few weeks.”

The governor announced she will call the Legislature back in session on Tuesday, April 26. A special session can last up to 30 days and cost as much as $16,000 per day.


Washington State House Republican Communications